After Modi visit, Janaki Temple charms Indian tourists

  • Religious tourism

May 24, 2018-

After Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Janakpur, the famous Hindu pilgrimage site has seen droves of Indian visitors. But the area is sorely lacking proper accommodation facilities to house the increased number of tourists. Many visitors are forced to sleep under the open sky at the temple premises.

 There are limited numbers of hotels and lodges operating around the Janaki Temple and all of them are packed.

“The local youths have been arranging lodging for visitors inside the temple,” said Krishna Singh, spokesperson of Rastriya Janata Party.

“More than 1,300 visitors arrived to visit the temple in just two days.”

The Ram Janaki Temple is one of the key holy places for Hindus. The temple is dedicated to Janaki or Sita, the consort of Hindu god Ram. There are various potential archaeological sites, but they have not been excavated.

Keshari Bankat, a resident of Kontour of Andhra Pradesh, India, said Indian pilgrimmes were keen to visit Janakpur after Indian PM Modi’s visit on May 11. Modi has also announced financial assistance of IRs1 billion for the development of the site.

Bankat, who is leading a team of 60 visitors, said they had rearranged their 11-day tour to Janakpur this year, instead of going to other holy destinations.

There are more than a dozen of hotels and a number of dharmashala or pilgrimmes houses operating in the area, said Ashok Jalan, proprietor of Hotel Ananda. “These facilities can

accommodate nearly 1,000 people a day.”

Apart from inadequate lodging services, the area also lacks tourist guides.

 E-rickshaw driver Shambhu Prasad Sah said that public vehicles have been performing as guides as well. Along with the Janaki Temple, other popular sacred places in Janakpur district include Ram Mandir, Shankat Mochan, Rajdevi Temple, Manimandap, Ganga Sagar and Dhanush Sagar among others. The central, provincial and local governments have announced developing Janakpur as one of the main destinations for religious tourism.

In 2016, the parliamentary International Relations and Labour Committee had directed the government to make special efforts to have Janakpur enshrined as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

However, government authorities have yet to come up with proper policies and programmes to attract visitors and prolong their stay in the area.

Harjeet Singh, a visitor from Hisar of Hariyana, India, said lack of information of the city has made it difficult for them to visit the area and its surrounding destinations with religious significance.

The government officials, however, said they would be managing the necessary information system and infrastructure soon to target Janakpur visitors.

Madan Ghimire, chief administrative officer at Janakpur Sub-metropolitan, said they would be introducing information system and training programmes to stakeholders through the annual programme in the next fiscal year.

“At present, we have focused on construction of road and drainage system in the city,” Ghimire said.

Published: 24-05-2018 08:21

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