Describing Kurukshetra as a centre of religious and cultural tourism, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday, 25 November, said his government will build a Bharat Mata Temple in the holy city, besides boosting its infrastructure to provide all facilities to visiting pilgrims.
Addressing a news conference amid the ongoing International Gita Mahotsav-2019 there, Khattar said the temple will be built in Kurukshetra over five acres of land at some place between Jyotisar and Brahamsarovar.
The International Gita Mahotsav, which began here on 23 November, will last till 10 December.
Bharat Mata Ka Mandir will become a key cultural centre for the people, a symbol of our unity, said Khattar, while replying to a question on the upcoming temple.
Khattar said to develop Kurukshetra as a key tourist destination and a "centre of religious faith" among people, the state government is mulling a policy to offer plots measuring 1,500 square metres to 2,000 square metres in Kurukshetra to various states on concessional rates to build their "Bhawans" to facilitate pilgrims visiting the city.
Khattar said besides the state government, Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB) and various other social and religious organisations too are working for the transformation of the city into a religious and cultural hub.
Naming various upcoming temples and other religious and cultural institutions like Giogita Sansthanam, Akshardham Temple, ISKCON temple and Gyan Mandir, the chief minister said the construction of these institutions would impart a distinct, international identity to Kurukshetra.
Stating that nearly 40 lakh people had visited Kurukshetra during the last international Gita festival, the chief minister said its infrastructural development would lead to a significant rise in the number of tourists and pilgrims visiting it.
The main programmes of the International Gita Mahotsav this year are slated from 3 December to 8 December, the chief minister said.
It is a matter of pride that the Centre has given its consent to use the Logo of Atulya Bharat (Incredible India) during the Mahotsav.
It is also a pleasant coincidence that after a fortnight of the Mahotsav, solar eclipse would be visible in Kurukshetra on 26 December after a gap of 10 years. Lakhs of pilgrims are expected to visit Kurukshetra on this occasion as well, he added.
He said various dignitaries, including BJP working president J P Nadda, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat among others, would participate in the ongoing Gita Mahotsav here.
The chief minister also told reporters that Uttarakhand was a "partner state" for the 'Mahotsav' this year, while 15 countries are participating in the event.
He said on the occasion, several international delegations, including those from Britain, Mauritius, Australia and Canada would be visiting Kurukshetra.
In addition to this, ambassadors and representatives of various foreign missions and scholars from various foreign universities too will be visiting the city during the festival, he added.
He said though Mauritius and Britain and have already organised the International Gita Mahotsav in the past, several other countries have expressed a "keen interest" in holding the festival.
Australia would be organising the event in March 2020, he added.
Referring to the ongoing works on the Centre's ambitious 'Krishana Circuit scheme under the Union Ministry of Tourism, Khattar said that the Union government has already sanctioned Rs 97 crore for the development of Brahamsarovar and other infrastructural developments in the city.
Many corporate firms too would be pumping in CSR funds for boosting the city's infrastructure, he added.
Talking of facilities to be provided to pilgrims during the event, the chief minister said 100 shuttle buses with concessional fairs would be provided to ferry them to and from the venue between 1 and 10 December.