Development of Spiritual Circuit
Polity & Governance
24th Jan, 2019
- Recently Prime Minister inaugurated the project “Development of Spiritual Circuit” which included pilgrimage temples located in Kerala.
- The project will be implemented under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
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- The project was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in 2016-17. Majority of work under this project has been carried out at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
- The development of spiritual circuit comprising three important pilgrimage centres of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Aranmula and Sabarimala in Kerala.
What is “Development of Spiritual Circuit project”?
- This is basically, a renovating project to provide conditions for better facilities and amenities in the promises of the temple. The aim is to make temple premises able to withstand the influx of huge crowds.
- For example, the temple precinct of Padmanabhaswamy Temple did not establish a sense of arrival to the revered destination nor were the amenities sufficient to cater to the tourists. Under this project, the Ministry has developed and rejuvenated the temple and its surroundings keeping in mind the factors of heritage and socio-cultural aspects.
Swadesh Darshan Scheme
- Swadesh Darshan scheme is one among the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritized manner.
- The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 77 projects.
- Fifteen thematic circuits have been identified under this scheme, for development namely: North-East Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
- Under this scheme the Government is focusing on development of quality infrastructure in the country with objective of providing better experience and facilities to the visitors on one hand and on other hand fostering the economic growth.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple:
- This temple is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. It is believed to be the world’s richest temple.
- It is one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples or Divya Desams in India. Divya Desams are the holiest abodes of Lord Vishnu that are mentioned in the works of the Tamil Azhvars (saints). The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu, reclining on Anantha, the hooded Serpent.
- Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala takes its name from the presiding deity of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, who is also known as Anantha(one who reclines on the Serpent Anantha). The word 'Thiruvananthapuram' literally means - the Land of Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy.
Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple: It is one of the "Divya Desams", revered by the 12 poet saints, or Alwars located near Aranmula, a village in Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, it is constructed in the Kerala style of architecture, Parthasarathy is the other name of Krishna on account of his role as Arjuna's Charioteer in the Mahabharata war.
- It is situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 m above sea level and is accessible only by foot from Pamba (4 km). The temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Sree Ayyappa.
- People of all castes and creeds are permitted into the temple. However, entry is not allowed to women between 10 and 50 years of age.
- Pilgrim season is from November to mid-January. Mandalapooja and Makaravilakku are the two main events of the pilgrim season. The Temple stays closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during Vishu (April).