Express press service
RAIPUR: The Congress-led state government has stepped up the timely execution of its ambitious project: the “Ram Van Gaman Tourist Circuit” which runs from north to south of the state as religious tourism , ahead of assembly elections scheduled in Chhattisgarh next year.
As part of it, the state has scheduled April 10, the day of the Ram Navami festival, when Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will inaugurate the grand launching ceremony of the renovated Shivrinarayan Temple, which is the second on the list of nine sites marked in the first phase. of the project. The first was the renovation of the old Mata Kaushalya temple in October last year.
“We planned to develop Shivirinarayan on the lines of Ayodhya. Chhattisgarh has a glorious past associated with the Ramayana. The state government is developing nine places under Ram Van Gaman Road and Shivrinarayan is second on the list after Mata Kaushalya Temple,” Baghel said.
Shivrinarayan is an important pilgrimage center where Lord Ram is said to have stayed during his 14 years of exile.
The Congress government, in its apparent effort, is seen as consistent in not letting the big political rival of the BJP gain the upper hand in religious policy. The government of Bhupesh Baghel has prepared to accomplish its conceptual plan on the development and beautification of nine key locations along the route of Lord Ram’s 14-year exile – ‘Ram Van Gaman Path’ ahead of the polls in the Assembly.
The state government is concurrently holding a Ramayana Recital Competition at the premises of Shivrinarayan Temple, located on the banks of the Mahanadi River in Janjgir-Champa district about 150 km east of Raipur in the launch of the first phase of work on the Ram Van Gaman. Tourist circuit.
Various troupes consisting of 350 eminent artists from 25 districts of the state perform during the 3-day recital competition on ‘Manas Gayan’ (Ramcharit Manas Recital), the results of which will be announced on Sunday.
The government has announced a cash prize for the winners of the competition. “CM Bhupesh Baghel will hand out a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh (winner), Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh to the first and second runners-up,” the government spokesperson said.
Besides Mata Kaushalya Temple and Shivrinarayan, other important cities include Sitamarhi Harchauka (Koriya), Ramgarh (Sarguja), Turturiya (Balodabazar), Rajim (Gariaband), Sihawa Saptarishi Ashram (Dhamtari), Jagdalpur (Bastar) and Ramaram (Sukma) .
The government is also aiming to unearth the date of birth of Mata Kaushalya and has sought the help of historians, experts in addition to religious gurus to trace and reach consensus.