Friday, 6 July 2007

Religious Tourist Circuits
by Bibhuti BikramadityaDaejeon, S Korea
March. 23, 2007

The recent decision by the Bihar government to develop religious tourist circuits should be hailed by all. This was a long standing demand. The state government has taken good decision in direction of making Bihar for the best spot for the religious tourists from all over the world.In the post independent era, Bihar government paid its attention only to develop Buddhist circuit of Bihar and in due course, they forgot (or rather say "sidelined") to develop Ramayan circuit, Sikh circuit, Jain circuit and Sufi circuit of Bihar.In comparison to other circuits, Ramayan circuit is the worst hit because of the dilly-dallying policy of the state government and poor infrastructure of the state.It is well known that Ayodhya was the kingdom of Rama and Sitamarhi (Punaura) was the birth place of Hindu holy goddess "Sita". Ayodhya was developed by U.P government and has become the best pilgrimage place for Hindus but at the same time, Sitamarhi was sidelined by all Bihar governments. This is very ridiculous.In Feb 2006, I visited Punaura village near Sitamarhi (outskirts of Sitamarhi town) and found that this place has potential to develop "Hindu Pilgrimage Place" and would be a major tourists' attraction if it was developed properly. Till today in Sitamarhi, Ramnavmi Mela is being organized which is the second largest "Pashu Mela" in India after Sonepur. But neither the media nor the government pays attention to these places of Bihar.In the Ramayan circuit, there are many other places to see which are equally more important such as Ahilya Asthan, Darbhanga (Place for Ahilya Devi), Valmiki Nagar (place of Maharishi Valmiki, author of the oldest Ramayan Granth).I would also advice the Bihar government to open Darbhanga houses (Mahal's of Darbhanga) for tourists and beautify it so as it could attract international tourists.

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