Riverine Based Religious Tourism Circuit is a scheme to connect seven religious places on the Brahmaputra. The idea is aimed at promoting riverine tourism along the river Brahmaputra. Read here to know more about the sites selected for the scheme.
The central government and Assam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting riverine tourism along the river Brahmaputra.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Guwahati, Assam for the development of a ‘Riverine Based Religious Tourism Circuit’ among Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Sagarmala Development Corporation Limited (SDCL), Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) and Department of Inland Waterways Transport (DIWT), Government of Assam.
The MoU is set to open a new chapter in riverine tourism in Assam and provide numerous developmental aspects to the state as well.
Riverine Based Religious Tourism Circuit
The Riverine Based Religious Tourism Circuit proposes to connect seven historic temples Kamakhya, Pandunath, Ashwaklanta, Doul Govinda, Umananda, Chakreshwar, and Auniati Satra on the banks of the Brahmaputra.
- The MoU will facilitate a modern ferry service on a ‘Hop On Hop Off’ among seven historic religious sites around Guwahati.
- The project, executed via a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), is likely to be completed with an investment of ₹45 crores and will be completed within 12 months.
- The immense potential of inland waterways is being unlocked through such an initiative.
The development of the Riverine Based Tourism Circuit is a huge shot in the arm of the tourism sector in Assam.
Riverine Based Religious Tourism Circuit Sites
Circuit proposes to connect seven historic temples Kamakhya, Pandunath, Ashwaklanta, Doul Govinda, Umananda, Chakreshwar, and Auniati Satra on the banks of the Brahmaputra.
- It is located atop Nilachal Hill in the western section of the Assamese metropolis of Guwahati.
- One of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India, it is also one of the oldest.
- Individual temples devoted to each of the 10 Mahavidyas are located all around the main temple- Kali, Tara, Sodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, and Kamalatmika are some examples of female deities.
- It serves as the focal point of the Indian Tantrik Shaktism cult.
- The Ambubachi Mela, an annual celebration, draws thousands of tantric worshippers to this temple since it is the epicenter of Tantra worship.
- The Manasha Puja is another yearly event.
- Pandu Nagari is a place in Guwahati named after Maharaja Pandu during the Mahabharata period.
- Maharaj Pandu was the father of the five Pandavas. This place is famous as the Pandunath Temple in the Tila Hills of the city.
- The five Ganesha idols meet here, leading the five Pandavas. The five brothers are believed to have taken refuge here as Ganesha during exile.
- Ashwaklanta temple, which is situated at Majgaon in North Guwahati, has a long history on its own.
- It was constructed during the reign of Ahom king Swargadeo Siva Singha in 1720 CE on the ruins of stone artifacts from the ninth to the twelfth centuries, and as such offers a great window into a lengthy period.
- On the property, there are two temples, both of which are devoted to Lord Vishnu.
- The temple has a distinct personality of its own because of the presence of two Lord Vishnu statues. According to folklore, Lord Krishna’s horses were weary and slept here, giving the location its name.
Doul Govinda Temple
- Doul Govinda Temple is one of the important temples of Kamrup, Assam.
- It is situated on the northern banks, on the foothills of Chandra Bharati hill at Rajaduar, North Guwahati.
- The temple is mainly devoted to Lord Krishna.
- The Umananda temple, located on Peacock Island, is one of the important temples of Guwahati.
- Situated in the middle of River Brahmaputra, this temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. During the festival of Shivratri, every year, a large number of devotees visit this temple.
- On instructions from King Gadadhar Singh of the Tai-Ahom dynasty, the temple was constructed in 1694 CE by Bar Phukan Garhganya Handique.
- There are plenty of engravings and sculptures that adorn the rock walls of this temple. These engravings and sculptures depict the craftsmanship of the local Assamese artisans.
- The well-known Lord Vishnu temple Chakreshwar Temple is located in Guwahati city not far from Kamakhya Temple.
- The Lord Vishnu’s Chakra (weapon) imprint naturally incised into a large rock is the temple’s specialty.
- Sri Sri Auniati Satra occupied the highest position amongst the various Satras of Assam in the eyes of the Ahom Kings.
- The slightly elevated land of Majuli, where this Satra was established, was full of Auni Paan (a kind of betel creeper plant). Ati means elevated place. There the name Auniati Satra came into being.
- The idol which receives daily worship in the Satra Temple (Manikuta) is the idol of Lord Krishna called Govinda.
- This idol was originally brought from Jagannath Kshetra (Puri, Orissa) and installed there with all the Vedic religious rituals.
Significance of Riverine Tourism
Rivers are a significant source of tourism because they offer breathtaking scenery, recreational opportunities, a mode of transportation, a feeling of history and adventure, and connections to the environment and natural world.
In India, which is the land of many rivers, river tourism holds much potential as a form of sustainable tourism.
- With activities like cruises and rafting vacations, river tourism makes up a sizeable share of global tourism consumption and is therefore an economically significant sector of travel that requires in-depth examination.
- From a variety of angles, including usage, heritage, management, environmental issues, and marketing, river tourism is sought to be profitable for the development of the region.
- The inland waterways have exemplified how transformation can be achieved via transportation.
- The promotion of river tourism can help in the preservation of the natural environment and cultural heritage of the region as well as add to the employment opportunities of the local population.
India’s rivers, which are immensely revered by its populace, are one of its most distinguishing features. Indian rivers, which span a wide area of 328 million hectares, have contributed significantly to the development of India’s rural areas.
The various rivers of India are of considerable value in India since they have a greater significance in the development of the country’s culture, economy, geography, and religion. They provide visitors with an excellent understanding of India’s history, culture, and traditions.
Religious tourism will get a boost as the tourists will enjoy the rich spiritual heritage of Guwahati via Riverine Based Religious Tourism Circuit. The Act East policy of the center is being reflected in major developmental projects across the northeast region.
-Article written by Swathi Satish