CM releases documentary film & book based on mythological foot route of Chardham Yatra
By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 3 Aug: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami released a documentary film and a book titled ‘Walking to the God’ based on the ancient foot trek route to Chardham Yatra at a function held at CM’s residence today. On this occasion, the Chief Minister also honoured those who made special contribution in the field of cleanliness under the Swachhta Pakhwada (Sanitation Fortnight) organised by the Tourism Development Council.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that Uttarakhand Tourism Development Council (UTDB) in association with Track the Himalaya had taken a historic step. Under this, a 25-member team of experts had travelled 1170 km to find the old routes on the Chardham track. As part of the campaign, a team of 25 members worked for 51 days to find the old Char Dham and the Winter Char Dham Marg. The publication of the book ‘Walking to the God’, based on ancient journey routes to Char Dham, was made possible with the documentary film on this entire expedition. Dhami observed that he was happy that this team was flagged off by him on 25 October, 2021. The initiative of the team was definitely commendable and valuable for the tourism of Uttarakhand.
Dhami said that the documentary and book on the ancient Chardham Yatra was a big step in the direction of preserving the age-old heritage related to the state. This initiative would also give a boost to our Chardham Yatra and Uttarakhand would get a new identity. The objective of this special campaign was to strengthen the valuable history, traditions and rich culture by spreading environmental awareness, promoting homestay, trekking, local culture, traditions and native employment. An important document has also been collected through this campaign, which in future would prove to be important in creating employment opportunities for the youth of the state and preventing migration.
The Chief Minister said that in the original concept of the establishment of the state, tourism sector was considered as the mainstay of the state’s economy. Referring to the book ‘Beyond the Misty Well, Temple Tales of Uttarakhand’ written by former IAS officer Aradhana Johri in this regard, the Chief Minister said that her book would also go a long way in giving an authentic introduction to the mythical divine temples of Uttarakhand in the country and abroad.
Pushkar Singh Dhami that Chardham was no less than a challenge for the state this year, with more than 30 lakh devotees coming to Char Dham yatra which resumed after a gap of two years. At the time of opening the doors, this number ranged from 20 to 25 thousand in a day. This was a good sign for state tourism. The government’s efforts were continuing for the development of infrastructure facilities on the Chardham Yatra routes.
The Chief Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a special attachment to Uttarakhand. During the Kedarnath Yatra on 5 November 2021, the Prime Minister had described the third decade of the 21st century as the decade of Uttarakhand. Along with the reconstruction of Kedarnath, the work of beautification of Badrinath Dham was in progress. An amount of Rs 265 crore had been sanctioned for this. Cable car planning work was going on for Kedarnath. Like Bharat Mala Yojana, the state was getting maximum benefit under Parvatmala Yojana. Manaskhand Mandir Mala Mission would also be started to make the ancient temples of Kumaon region also famous. The Chief Minister said that there was great grace of God bestowed on Uttarakhand. If the arrangements at our Char Dham tourist places are made convenient then people would make up their mind to come here again and again. In this direction, people associated with the tourism sector would also have to contribute for the betterment of the state’s tourism. The Chief Minister also congratulated Paloma Dutta, the author of the book and the members of Trek the Himalaya, who made commendable contributions in the Swachhta Pakhwada. Those honoured by the Chief Minister included members of Municipal Council Agastyamuni, Ramnagar and Shivalik Nagar Haridwar, Hotel Restaurant Association, Best Barrier Society etc. The Chief Minister also presented to them the National Flag under the Har Ghar Tiranga Yojana.
Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj said that for a healthy life, one had to make cleanliness a sacrament. It had to be linked to one’s mood. This attitude ought to be developed towards the cleanliness of home as well as the ward, city and state. If the people got aware of cleanliness, then diseases would stay away and the expenditure on diseases could also be saved. Just as the Paryavaran Mitras did a good job during the Corona period, in the same way every citizen ought to join the cleanliness campaign by forming cleanliness committees at the local and ward level.
Maharaj said that Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) in association with Track the Himalaya has taken a historic step in bringing out the film and the book which aimed to introduce the pilgrims to the history of the stopover sites along with the thrill of travelling back in time. The opportunities for self-employment would increase due to the Chardham Yatra running on the old route. After reviving the Yatra route, the local youth would also get self-employment by opening homestays in the villages adjoining them, opening stalls of Pahari delicacies, etc. He said that an action plan was being prepared regarding the ease of travel to twelve Jyotirlingas of the country.
Secretary Tourism Sachin Kurve said that a campaign was started by the department to discover the legendary foot trek of Chardham. The tourism sectors would be recognised by the release of a documentary film made from photography and videography of the entire campaign and the book ‘Walking to the God’ based on the ancient travel route. He said that as per the instructions of Chief Minister and Tourism Minister, the tourism department was working continuously to promote Uttarakhand tourism and get it recognised on the international map.
On this occasion, Additional Secretary Tourism C Ravi Shankar, Additional Chief Executive Officer Adventure Tourism Col Ashwini Pundir, Additional Chief Executive Officer Infrastructure Pooja Gabriyal, Director Infrastructure Lt. Commander Deepak Khanduri, Director Finance Jagat Singh Chauhan, Additional Director Poonam Chand, Additional Director Vivek Singh Chauhan, Deputy Director Yogendra Singh Gangwar, Senior Research Officer SS Samant and other officials of the Tourism Department were present.