After the Union government’s plans to start a spiritual circuit, Uttarakhand today said it was all set to promote “mystical and supernatural” tourism. “Uttarakhand is not just about the five dhams. We are making a new tourism policy and I need to tell you that in our state there is an unusual (kind of) tourism – mystical and supernatural tourism,” the state’s senior-most cabinet minister, Satpal Maharaj, said at a FICCI tourism investors’ function in Delhi. Maharaj is in charge of nine departments, including tourism, pilgrimage and religious fairs and culture, besides Indo-Nepal and Uttarakhand river projects. Explaining the concept, the minister narrated tales of myths and miracles inspired by local deities. He said there were specific times when these gods appeared and bestowed their powers on humans. These activities, he said, attract huge crowds in the state.
The minister appealed to investors to make the most of these “unusual” tourism opportunities in Uttarakhand. He said he also wanted to explore circuits that were “off the beaten track”. These two circuits would concentrate on myths and miracles surrounding deities in Jaghdhar in Rudraprayag and Joshimath. Maharaj urged the financiers to look at investing in projects that went beyond the five dhams — famous pilgrim spots — in Uttarakhand. Proposing several more tourist circuits for the state, he said the new policy would have a Devi Circuit, Shaiv Circuit, Vaishnav Circuit, Golu Devta Circuit, Nagraj Circuit and Mahabharata Circuit.
The minister also said he had devised a plan to involve former soldiers in a proposal for homestays in Uttarakhand. He has discussed this with the army chief, he said. The Central government had earlier this year said it would start a Krishna circuit and a Ramayana circuit in the country.