Tuesday, May 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Kurukshetra to be model of tourist attraction
K.G. Dutt

Kurukshetra, May 20
The Union Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned a bonanza of projects worth crores of rupees for the Mahabharata-age twin towns of Thanesar and Kurukshetra. This was stated here today by Mr Jagmohan, Union Minister for Tourism, in an exclusive interview with The Tribune.

The minister, who visited various historic sites around Thanesar and reviewed the progress of the works which had already been ordered to be executed by the Union Ministry of Tourism, stated that Kurukshetra was being developed “as a centre of regeneration of India.”

Mr Jagmohan was accompanied by officials of the Archaeological Survey of India, Indian Tourism Corporation and the CPWD to undertake a survey and make an assessment of the work to be undertaken here. The historic town would be developed as “a model of tourist attraction on an international level”.

He said for this purpose, the Archaeological Survey of India would undertake fresh excavations of the historic Harash Ka Tilla near the historic tomb of Seikh Chahli. A big archaeological park would be developed there. Besides, another park known as Tapovan Park surrounded by the Puranic age Sthaneshwar temple on one side and the Bhadharkali Shakti Peetha on the other as well as Seikh Chahli’s tomb on the third side would also be developed. The Union Tourism Ministry had already sanctioned four-laning of the road from the old bus stand up to the Sthaneshwar and Goddess Bhadharkali temples.

The minister said to acquaint the pilgrims with the historicity of the river Saraswati, which is now invisible, five sign posts would be developed. These would indicate the course of the once mighty and holy river. The sign posts would also throw light on the history and background of the Saraswati.

Mr Jagmohan also said that a light and sound programme would also be started at Jyotisar, the place where Lord Krishna is believed to have dilvered the message of the holy Srimad Bhagwad Geeta. Earlier, the Ministry of Tourism had sanctioned a light and sound programme at the holy Brahamsarovar. Thus, Kurukshetra would become the only town in India, where two such programmes would be presented.

Mr Jagmohan said the landscaping of the holy Brahamsarovar would also be undertaken.

He said a new Indian Institute of Hotel Management and Crafts Development would be opened by his ministry in Kurukshetra. It would aim at developing the ancient crafts of India. The excavation of Harash Ka Tilla had been undertaken long time ago. Now a site museum has been set up there depicting the history of Thanesar. The site museum was set up after an earlier visit by Mr Jagmohan.

The minister said as a large number of tourists visited the ancient pilgrim temples of Sthaneshwar Mahadev and Goddess Bhadarkali Shaktipeetha, the Ministry of Tourism had sanctioned liberal financial assistance for the development of infrastructural facilities like roads and street lights etc. It is learnt that funds worth over Rs 6 crore would be spent in this area alone.

Mr Bhaskar Chatterjee, Financial Commissioner to the Government of Haryana, the Director of Tourism, Haryana, the Deputy Commissioner of Kurukshetra, Mr Abhijit Likhi, accompanied the minister during his visit to the Jyotisar, Narkatari, Harsh Ka Tilla and Brahamsarovar areas.

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