Centre’s 'Swadeshi Tourism' to benefit three Kerala temples

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Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 13: Three major temples in Kerala are poised to get a boost to their pilgrim footfall as the Centre has given the state go ahead for a Rs 100 crore project to improve facilities around the shrines.

Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple here, Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula and Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple would benefit from the programme, state Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar said.

Sabarimala

"The mega project, under the Swadeshi Darshan Tourism of the central government, was announced during Onam festival this year when Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma visited Kerala," he said here.

"The package, which got the official clearance now, does not pertain to expenses on temple rituals, instead aims atthe betterment of the infrastructure for the pilgrims at the three renowned shrines," the minister added.

Among others, the Padmanabha Swamy Temple package would feature 25-odd vintage buildings, museums and a stone-paved 5.2-km heritage walk that will permit viewing of all the four gateways of the shrine.

The other plans include renovation of the pathway running adjacent to the four gateways and the sprawling Padmateertha tank, construction of drinking water facilities and toilet blocks, providing dustbins around the complex, sign boards and uniform name boards, digital museum and installation of a solar panel, an official release said.

At south-central Kerala's Aranmula, there will be a roof coming up for the VIP gallery watching the famous Onam-time boat race, stronger walls would be erected. Besides, toilets, bathing ghats, solar street lights and better facilities for the feast at the famous 'vallassadya' would also be created at Aranmula.

The Sabarimala project involves a waiting hall at Nilakkal, cloak and shower rooms, toilets, parking bays, a walking bridge parallel to the one now running across the Pampa river and another bridge parallel to the one now starting from the parking lot, it added.

PTI

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