The Ministry of Tourism has identified these destinations on the basis of footfalls and future potential in consultation with the state governments concerned for further development. Accordingly, an amount of Rs 32.84 crore has been sanctioned for the development of the Hampi area, officials of the ministry said here on Wednesday.
Andhra Pradesh tops the list, with three of its destinations—the Tirupati Heritage Circuit, Kadapa circuit and the Charminar area of Hyderabad—having been identified for development as mega tourist centres.
Bihar’s Bodh Gaya-Rajgir-Nalanda circuit (important for Buddhists worldwide), Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-affected Jagdalpur-Tirathgarh-Chitrakote-Barsur-Dantewada area, Goa’s churches, Gujarat’s Dwarka-Nageshwar-Bet Dwarka, Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu-Katrain-Manali eco and adventure circuit and Kerala’s Muzuris heritage and culture circuit and Thrissur and Ernakulam districts are also part of the project.
Madhya Pradesh figures on the list in the form of the spiritual and wellness destination of Chitrakoot, while Maharashtra’s Vidarbha heritage circuit and Aurangabad, famous for the nearby Ajanta-Ellora, have also been chosen.
Among the other sites selected to be developed as mega tourist centres are Orissa’s Bhubaneswar-Puri-Chilka, Puducherry, Punjab’s Amritsar, Rajasthan’s Ajmer and the desert circuit comprising Jodhpur-Bikaner-Jaisalmer, Gangtok in Sikkim, Tamil Nadu’s Mahabalipuram and the pilgrimage circuit of Madurai-Rameshwaram-Kanyakumari, Uttarakhand’s Haridwar-Rishikesh, Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi and West Bengal’s Ganga heritage river cruise circuit.
Sources said during the current financial year, 106 projects, including mega projects, had been sanctioned in various states and Union territories for Rs 398.33 crore till September, 2009.