'Ramayana circuit' awaits Centre's nod
Tourists could soon visit hallowed spots in Telangana that find mention in the epic Ramayana, if certain proposals of the Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation to promote the ‘Ramayana circuit’ are accepted by the Centre.
According to some experts, several places mentioned in Ramayana fall in the current geographic region of Telangana and therefore have a lot of religious significance. In particular, places like Parnasala and Jataprolu in Bhadrachalam have been predominantly mentioned in the ancient scriptures, strengthening belief that Lord Rama, during his exile, passed through the region.
Officials advocating the Ramayana circuit point out that Lord Rama had spent 14 years at Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh and also considerable time in the Telangana region, thus leaving a legacy for the devout to cherish.
According to the epic, Sita was abducted from Parnasala. Therefore, it is believed that Lord Rama, during his exile, must have traversed through the area located in Khammam. Likewise, the Jammikunta temple, believed to have been visited by Lord Rama on his way back after killing Ravana, continues to be a significant place in Karimnagar.
There are other references as well suggesting Lord Rama passed through Adilabad, though presently there is no substantial evidence with the Tourism Department. Yet, the department wants to bring these places onto a common platform.
Sharing his views, Project Director, Telangana Tourism, S Narsimha Reddy, says, “We are planning to introduce this circuit under the new tourism policy ‘Prasad’. The policy aims to create spiritual centres for tourism development within the country. A budgetary provision of Rs 15.60 crore has been made in the Revised Estimates 2014-2015 to facilitate necessary additions.
This circuit will join places like Bhadrachalam and Rekhapalli in Khammam, Jeedikal in Warangal, Jataprolu in Mahabubnagar, and Ramagiri Hills in Karimnagar, which stand testimony to the places mentioned in the epic. This circuit will give tourists a chance to explore and relive the ancient times. It will give the Tourism Department a platform to connect all ancient temples in the State. I think the scheme ‘Prasad’ will also help in giving a facelift to the spiritual centres.”
Telangana Tourism Development Corporation chairman Peravaram Ramulu says, “We are planning to launch the Ramayana circuit including Bhadrachalam, Jedikalu in Warangal, Jataprolu and Ramagiri Hills. The main reason behind the idea is to bring a facelift to some of these unexplored places in Telangana which find mention in the Ramayana. The circuit might also be linked with the Nagarjunasagar circuit, depending on the response. We are hopeful that the central government would approve the proposals, giving an opportunity for tourists to explore these places.”