The Tourism ministry has launched a scheme, called Swadesh Darshan, to develop pilgrim spots that figure in the Ramayana and Krishna mythologies.
The destinations in the Ramayana Circuit will be Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh); Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga (Bihar); Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh); Mahendragiri (Odisha); Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh); Nashik and Nagpur (Maharashtra) Bhadrachalam (Telangana); Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu).
The Krishna Circuit will consist of Dwarka (Gujarat); Nathdwara, Jaipur and Sikar (Rajasthan); Kurukshetra (Haryana), Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Barsana, Nandgaon and Govardhan (Uttar Pradesh) and Puri (Odisha).
These will be in addition to the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme for development and beautification of important pilgrimage sites of the country in 2014-15. Under PRASAD, 13 sites have been identified for development. They are Ajmer, Amritsar, Amaravati, Dwarka, Gaya, Kedarnath, Kamakhya, Kanchipuram, Mathura, Patna, Puri, Varanasi and Velankanni.
Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a question that in the current financial year, the budget allocation for the PRASAD scheme is Rs 100 crore while that for the Swadesh Darshan scheme is Rs 706.35 crore.