Work will start this month on Chhattisgarh's ambitious Ram Van Gaman Path to be built from Korea to Sukma, carrying the spirit of devotion to Lord Ram at each step and covering a total of about 2,260 km of the main route and sub-routes.
In the action plan prepared by the government, special attention has been given to the beautification of places, starting from the entrance to lampposts and benches, an official press release said on Wednesday.
Devotees and tourists will have darshan of Lord Ram at each step of the journey of Ram Van Gaman Path.
As people walk, they can see and hear stories related to the exile of Lord Ram. Plantation of different species of plants is being done on both sides of the Path so that the feeling of exile that Lord Ram underwent can be felt.
On Wednesday, in the presence of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Tourism Secretary P. Anbalagan gave a detailed information about the scheme. Work on the project costing Rs 137.75 crore will start from the last week of this month.
It will begin from Chandkhuri near Raipur where an ancient temple of Mata Kaushalya, belonging to the seventh century, is situated. A plan of Rs 15.45 crore has been prepared for the beautification and development of the Mata Kaushalya temple complex.
Ambalagan said about 2,260 km of roads will be developed under this project. Plantation work will be done along 1,400 km of roads. Development of civic amenities for tourists will be a top priority at all these places.
Grand gates will be erected at all places, the top of which will hold copies of the bow and arrow of Lord Ram. Lord Rama's flag will be waved. Slogans of Jai Shri Ram will follow.
Lampposts to be installed on the pilgrimage and the tourism sites will also remind one about the ancient times. These lampposts will have the shape of Lord Ram erected on their top. In another design, an arrow-bow will be put up on top of the lampposts.
Informative reception gates will be set up from Korea to Sukma. A special design sign board will welcome the visitors when they reach a destination. Direction posts showing the distance and direction of various places along the road will be set up in the circuit.
Market stalls will be built in a modern way.
The route map of Ram Van Gaman Path has been prepared. A project report has been prepared for Chandkhuri, Shivrinarayan, Turturiya and Rajim. A laser light show will be arranged above the Shivirinarayan Bridge.
Beautification and development of Saptarishi Ashram is to be done in Dhamtari district. The city is planned to be developed as a tourism hub. Biodiversity parks will come up at various locations.
The tourism department has identified 75 sites of Ram Van Gaman Path in Chhattisgarh based on various research papers and ancient beliefs after discussing with historians.
The nine sites being developed in the first phase include Sitamarhi Harchauka (Korea), Ramgarh (Sarguja), Shivrinarayan (Janjgir-Champa), Turturiya (Balodabazar), Chandkuri (Raipur), Rajim (Gariaband), Sihawa Saptarishi Ashram (Dhamtari), Jagdalpur (Bastar) and Ramaram (Sukma).
In one year, the construction agencies will complete their work as per the action plan.
Regarding the beautification of Chandkhuri Mata Kaushalya temple complex and other religious and tourist places, Ministers Mohammad Akbar, T.S. Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Dr. Shiv Dahriya and Amarjeet Bhagat gave many useful suggestions.