The Ramayana Circuit is one among the 13 tourist circuits under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.
A committee under the Ministry of Tourism jotted down 15 destinations in the Ramayana Circuit in an effort to promote religious tourism. The destinations are chosen according to the places where Lord Ram is believed to have travelled across India.
Every circuit under the Swadesh Darshan scheme is administered by separate committees. These committees are the responsible for forming the blueprint of their respective circuit.
However, last month, Head of the Ramayana Circuit National Committee Mahesh Sharma wrote a letter to the central government expressing his disappointment over the delay of work involved in the Ramayana Circuit.
The destinations under the circuit will be developed by bridging infrastructural gaps like provision of drinking water, accommodation facilities, etc. Then the 15 places will be connected to form a circuit.
The 15 destinations are — Ayodhya, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh, Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga in Bihar, Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, Nandigram in West Bengal, Mahendragiri in Odisha, Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, Hampi in Karnataka and Nashik and Nagpur in Maharashtra.
The first step towards the development of this circuit was taken by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, when he agreed to clear 20 acres of land to build a Ramayana Museum in Ayodhya.
The scheme will be a joint effort of the states and the central government. It has a larger aim of providing job opportunities to local artisans, as it promotes local art and craft.
Krishna Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Spiritual Circuit are three of the other 12 circuits under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, which seeks to boost religious tourism in India.
As of now, 10 destinations have been finalised under the Krishna Circuit, which will pertain to his journey in India.
The 9 remaining circuits, though not for religious tourism, aim to connect all major cultural heritage spots and other touristy spots of India, making travel-planning easier.
When the scheme is developed, India can also allure international visitors for a visit. One of the many aims, which were proposed in the 2014-2015 Budget, was to enhance the Incredible India 2.0 Campaign, making India an attractive tourist spot and hence, gaining good revenue out of the tourism market.
A similar scheme, the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD), with the same objectives as the Swadesh Darshan scheme, aims to develop 13 pilgrimage cities across India.