Monday, February 2, 2009

Parasnath on amenity drive


Ranchi, Jan. 30: Once it was a must-visit spot for both Jains and tourists, but neglect has led to a dwindling footfall of visitors to the Parasnath hills.

But, the state tourism department, it seems, has woken up to the problem and is now mulling plans to provide “world-class” facilities to visitors to the Parasnath hills — also referred to as Shri Teerth.

Located 170km from Ranchi, every year lakhs of Jain pilgrims visit Parasnath hills. The tourism department has mooted a plan to develop the area and rope in the occasional foreign visitor as well. Plans include a bus stand, a shopping complex, a mediation-and-yoga centre, hotels and an amusement park.

State tourism secretary A.K. Singh said they are in the process to procure 106 acres to start the project in three months. “We are also chalking a blueprint for the mega project by roping in department officials. The government has decided to sanction Rs 50 crore shortly,” the secretary said.

“The project would also provide employment to local youths. We would take in 400 men for this project in a bid to improve the socio-economic condition of the area. The people would also be responsible for the upkeep of the hills,” Singh said.

"Over foreign 1,000 tourists come here every year, including some NRIs. We also receive some 5 lakh domestic tourists. We want these numbers to increase and promote the area as a must-see spot.”

Apart from the Parasnath temple, there are several Jain temples belonging both to Digambers and Svetambers sects. On Mahavir Jayanti, the temple is chock-a-block with visitors and pilgrims.

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