Lucknow: As promotion of religious and cultural tourism forms important part of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s comprehensive vision for the development of the state, a number of steps have been taken by his government in the recent past to boost the sector.
The most recent of these steps is the renovation of Draupadi Ghat at Hastinapur city of the Mahabharata fame and equipping it with all modern facilities at the cost of Rs 40 lakh, Mukesh Kumar Mishra, Executive Officer of Hastinapur nagar panchayat, taken up the project, said on Thursday.
The reconstruction is underway and the renovated ghat will have a lake for women's bath, two changing rooms, washrooms and benches, once completed.
Hastinapur, the capital city of the Kauravas in the ancient period according to the epic ‘the Mahabharata’, is a town situated on the banks of river Ganga in Meerut district and has immense mythological value. It also features as one of the important places in CM Yogi’s tourism plan.
Taking a cue from countries, which have tourism as one of the mainstays of their economies, and in his mission to showcase the rich cultural, religious and spiritual heritage of India to the world, CM Yogi has divided UP into 10 tourism circuits to cater to different audiences.
The 10 tourism circuits that are being developed by the Yogi Government include the Ramayana and the Mahabharata circuits, the Krishna-Braj circuit, the Buddhist circuit, the Wildlife and Eco-tourism circuit, the Bundelkhand circuit, the Shakti Peeth circuit, the Aadhyatmik circuit, the Sufi-Kabir circuit and the Jain circuit, covering the entire range of India’s rich religious, mythological, spiritual and cultural history.
The Uttar Pradesh Government has also decided to form Vindhya Dham Development Council and the Chitrakoot Dham Development Council for the development of these regions to promote religious tourism.
It is worth mentioning here that CM Yogi made it a point to celebrate Diwali in Ayodhya and Dev Diwali in Varanasi in a spectacular manner last year with strict adherence to the Covid protocol to draw the world’s attention to UP’s growing tourism charm.
So, renovation of the Draupadi Ghat is just another move in a series of moves that aims at developing UP’s tourism potential.
It is noteworthy that even today hundreds of women come to take bath at that ghat. Once a year the Satta Pheri Fair is also held there which is attended by people from nearby areas in large numbers. Mythology has it that taking a bath at the ghat can rid a person of all skin diseases.
The ghat has special significance in the Mahabharata with several crucial events taking place there. According to the Mahabharata, the decline of Hastinapur started due to a curse by Draupadi when she was insulted in the royal court by the Kauravas after Yudhisthir, the eldest of the five Pandavas, lost her in a deceitful game of gambling conspired by Shakuni and Duryodhan.
It is also believed that Queen Draupadi used to come to the ghat daily to bathe and worship. One day she had come there to take a bath in the Ganges while sage Durvasa was also taking bath there at some distance. While sage Durvasa, who was famous for his anger, was inside the river, his undergarment drifted along with its flow. Seeing this, Draupadi tore a part of her sari and floated it towards the sage to save him the embarrassment. Pleased with the wisdom of the queen, the sage granted Draupadi a boon that her shame would never be affected. It was this blessing of Duravsa because of which Lord Krishna came to her rescue and protected her honour at the royal court of the Kauravas at the time of her chirharan (disrobing).(UNI)