Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said Assam would be turned into a centre of religious and spiritual tourism, set around Ambubachi Mela and Kamakhya Temple. Sonowal, who was taking part in the inaugural ceremony of Ambubachi Mela here, said Goddess Kamakhya’s temple has established the state as one of the great spiritual destinations in the country. He said the temple was one of the 52 ‘shakti peeths’ and all efforts would be made to highlight this great place of worship on the world stage.
Asserting that the people of Assam should have been one of the economically advanced communities in the country as they have the goddess’ blessings, Sonowal said this has, however, not happened because no concerted effort was made to harness the tourism potential of the temple. “Kamakhya Temple should be the source of light and enlightenment for the world and our government is going to make all efforts in this regard,” Sonowal said.
He said heightened publicity and awareness campaigns have been run in the national and international media this time resulting in increased tourist inflow to the city for attending Ambubachi Mela. Sonowal appealed all the visitors to help the authorities in maintaining cleanliness and hygiene during and after the Mela at the temple premises.
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He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan must be made successful and people must extend their support towards the initiative to keep the surroundings clean, he added. Terming every citizen of Guwahati as an ambassador of the city’s heritage and culture, Sonowal called on the denizens to give a good account of the state’s hospitality by helping the visitors and tourists coming to the Ambubachi Mela.
In light of renewed thrust of Act East Policy, Guwahati would turn into the gateway of south east Asia in the future and state capital region has also been planned expanding into the nearby areas of the city. Therefore, visitors to the city must be given a good account of the place, Sonowal added.
Referring to Modi’s quote of “the north east being the new engine of growth for a new India”, Sonowal said all sections of society must join hands for developing the state and the region as the government alone cannot make schemes and plans successful.
The young generation must be educated about the rich heritage and culture of the state so that they can spread the awareness outside Assam, he said
Tourism Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said a number of development plans have been initiated for Kamakhya and the redevelopment of the historic ‘Mekhela Ujua’ road built originally by Narakasur following the order of the goddess on Nilachal Hill was also being planned.
The minister also siad another approach road to the temple was going to be built from the Pandu side and tour of the temple by water taxi by the Inland Water Transport Department was also being planned. Kamakhya Temple would be developed in line with other pilgrimage sites of the country like the Vaishno Devi shrine and the main approach road to the temple would also be widened, Sarma added.