Berhampur, July 26 (LocalWire): Two years have been passed since the Central government decided to develop Mahendragri, a tourist destination located in Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border, under its Ramayana circuit project in Swadesh Darshan scheme.
Mahendragiri, a part of the Eastern Ghats, is among 15 thematic circuits identified for development under the scheme.
The other destinations for development under the Ramayana circuit theme are included Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri, Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Nashik and Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu).
Though the government has developed some other tourist destinations in other states under the scheme, Mahendragiri remained ignored, alleged MP (Berhampur) Chandra Sekhar Sahu in Lok Sabha on Thursday.
He demanded the ministry of tourism should immediately sanction the funds to develop of Mahendragiri and to protect and renovate its ancient temples located on the hill top.
Highlighting the importance of Mahendragiri, Sahu said the mountain was associated with mythological stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata era.
At least five ancient temples located on the hill-top are dedicated to the Pandavas. There was a water body on the hill top known as Sita Kunda. Legend says Parshuram mediated at Mahendragiri, he said.
Mahendragiri is also considered as a ‘Kula Parvata’ along with Malaya, Sahyadri, Parijatra, Shuktiman, Vindhya and Malyavaan.
Hundreds of people, especially historians visit it for their research.
On the eve of Maha Shivaratri, thousands of people gather at the hill top, Sahu said.
It has been developed as a tourist destination with limited resources of the state government, he pointed out.
When the Central government declared to include it under Ramayana circuit and to develop it, the state government welcomed the move, while the people of Gajapati district, one of the Maoist-infested and tribal dominated districts, hoped to develop their socio-economic development, he said.
‘I feel sorry that the spot has been ignored so far,’ Sahu said.
He emphasized that this happened despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing on developing spots under Ramayana circuit during his recent Sri Lanka visit.