Indian Economy News

Four Meghalayan projects received government approval under the PRASAD scheme at the 11th International Tourism Mart

The 11th International Tourism Mart marked the unveiling of four projects under the PRASAD-Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive initiative for Meghalaya: the development of pilgrim amenities at Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church, Nartiang Shakti Peeth, Aitnar Pool, and Charantala Kali Temple.

In the presence of Chief Minister Mr. Conrad K Sangma, Union Minister of State for Tourism Mr. Shripad Yesso Naik officially inaugurated the 11th International Tourism Mart on November 21, 2023, in Shillong.

The Ministry of Tourism approved eight projects totalling Rs. 256.45 crore (US$ 30.7 million) under the PRASAD scheme for the integrated development of identified pilgrimage destinations in the Northeast States.

An idyllic stop on the Jaintia Hills cultural trail, Nartiang's Durga Temple is often eclipsed by the neighbouring Garden of Monoliths. One of the most revered shrines of Shaktism in the country, the 500-year-old Durga temple is believed to be a Shakti Peeth.

One of the oldest churches in Northeast India is the Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church, which Mr. Thomas Jones constructed in 1846. Furthermore, the most popular cultural festival among the Pnars, the Aitnar Pool is an element of the Behdienkhlam Festival. Known for its significance as a place of worship for the Hajong and Koch populations in the area, the Charantala Temple in West Garo Hills also draws a large number of outside visitors.

In 2014-15, the Indian government launched the PRASAD scheme under the Ministry of Tourism. The objective of this initiative is to enhance the religious tourist experience by developing and identifying pilgrimage sites throughout India. In order to offer a comprehensive religious tourism experience, it seeks to combine pilgrimage sites in a prioritised, sustainable, and planned manner. Tourism for pilgrimages has a major influence on the expansion of domestic tourism.

During the opening ceremony, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya expressed his happiness that Shillong is hosting the International Tourism Mart for the second time. He claimed that by utilising the region's potential in all areas and securing a more prosperous future for it economically, the Government of India, led by the highly capable Prime Minister, has persisted in ensuring that Northeast India is expanding alongside the rest of the nation. The objective of this initiative is to enhance the religious tourist experience by creating and identifying pilgrimage destinations throughout India. He added that the International Tourism Mart, which serves as a platform for connecting tourism stakeholders with both domestic and foreign consumers, has been essential in maximising the North East's tourism potential by showcasing the region's distinctive culture, legacy, customs, and products.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.