Travelling has never been more fun, or more lucrative! The Tourism Ministry of India has decided to fund those who travel to 15 destinations within the country in a year under the Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign. The initiative is on till 2022.
The move will see the ministry fund the travel expenses of tourists who visit all the places and submit the photos on their website, revealed tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel.
The minister has said the condition to receive the funding is that the person should travel out of his/her own state, reported PTI.
Come let’s be a part of our Prime Minister’s vision of ‘#DekhoApnaDesh‘ & take a pledge to visit at least 15 destinations by 2022 and dive deeper into India’s art,culture,history & heritage.
— Ministry of Tourism (@tourismgoi) January 24, 2020
Here’s how one can take a pledge in ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign.
• Visit pledge.mygov.in
• Choose the language, either Hindi or English
• Take a pledge
• A certificate will be given via mobile text or e-mail
Here are a few places to help you choose from a list of iconic tourist sites:
Mahabodhi Temple: Spread over an area of 12 acres, the complex at Bihar’s Bodh Gaya had its first temple built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. Other temples were built in the complex between 5th and 6th centuries AD. The site is said to be the place where Gautam Buddha received enlightenment in 531 BC at 35 years of age.
Bodh Gaya is about 90 km from Patna. The temple complex is open from 5am to 9pm. While there is no entry fee, those carrying cameras or video cameras must pay Rs 100 and Rs 300 respectively.
Kumarakom: A popular tourist destination near the city of Kottayam in Kerala, Kumarakom is popular for backwater tourism.
Kumarakom is set in the backdrop of the largest lake in Kerala, Vembanad. A cluster of little islands, it is also a bird sanctuary and offers boating facilities.
The nearest railway station is Kottayam, which is about 13 km away. The closest airport is in Kochi.
Kaziranga National Park: Located in Assam on the south bank of the Brahmaputra river, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The park is home to the largest population of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros.
Visitors can reach Kaziranga via Furkating, which is the nearest railway station connected to major cities like Guwahati, Kolkata and New Delhi. The nearest airports to the park are Guwahati airport and Jorhat airport, located at a distance of 217 km and 97 km respectively.
Mahabalipuram: Built between the 7th and 8th centuries, the group of monuments at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu is around 58km from Chennai. The temples were built by the Pallava kings. It was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1984.
The nearest airport to Mahabalipuram is Chennai, while the nearest railway station is Chengalpattu, which is 29 km away.
Hampi: Located in the Ballari district of Karnataka, the town of Hampi on the banks of the Tungabhadra river has the ruins of the kingdom of Vijayanagara. There are a number of temples and palaces built between the 14th and 16th centuries that are popular among tourists and photographers.
Located approximately 350 km from Bengaluru, the closest railway station is Hospet, which is half an hour away. The nearest airports are Hubli and Belgaum.
Humayun’s Tomb: It was built between 1569 and 1570 by Mughal emperor Akbar. The tomb has a raised dome of 139 feet and is covered by marble slabs.
Humayun’s Tomb was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent and is considered to be an inspiration for the Taj Mahal, which was built a century later.
Located opposite Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi, JLN Stadium on the Purple Line is the closest metro station to the Humayun’s Tomb. One can take an autorickshaw or a cab from the station to reach the place. The other close metro is the Jorbagh station on the Yellow Line, which is around 5 km from the tomb.
The nearest railway station is Nizamuddin, which is 2.2 km away.
Somnath temple: Located in Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra on the coast of Gujarat, it is considered to be one of the 12 jyotirlinga shrines in India. Built and razed several times in history, the present architecture was completed in 1951.
Somnath is well connected to other major cities in the country via trains and one can also get buses to reach the place.
Diu airport is 63 km from Somnath while the Porbandar airport is located 114km away.
Other iconic places that have been identified by the Ministry of Tourism include Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), Ajanta and Ellora (Maharashtra), Red Fort and Qutub Minar (Delhi), Colva (Goa), Amer Fort (Rajasthan), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh).
Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has said the Sun Temple at Konark would also be included in the list of ‘iconic sites’.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)