Move to make Jammu and Kashmir a religious hub

The state which recently lost its special status may soon lose its tag of a romantic destination. The Jammu and Kashmir election in-charge for BJP Avinash Khanna, in a letter to Governor Satya Pal Malik and Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel, has urged for making the sensitive region a religious hub.

Jammu and Kashmir BJP leaders and workers have been reportedly directed to prepare a list of all the places that can be restored for the purpose of making the state a hub for religious tourism. Khanna has sought Center’s help to work on historical and religious spots such as “Shudh Mahadev” and “Mantalai” in Chenani tehsil of Udhampur district.

“I have received a representation from Shrimad Jagatguru Shankaracharya Anant Ji, Swami Amritanand Dev Tirath and local committee, Chanaini, Mantalai in which they have sought the help of Govt for the development of historical and religious places like ‘Shudh Mahadev’ and ‘Mantalai’. I have also personally visited these historical places that are largely visited by the devotees,” reads Khanna’s letter dated 20 August.

Khanna has also sought Modi government’s help in the development of dharamshalas and sarais, with specific assistance in restructuring the temples and facilitating transportation to ease the travel of devotees.

“Tourism, religious tourism, job creation and peace is what we are going to focus on. There are so many places in the state that not only provide tourism opportunity but will also allow us to preserve our history and culture. The state unit of the BJP will work towards it,” said a senior BJP leader.

Recently, the Vishva Hindu Parishad also urged the ruling party to rebuild all 435 temples that were “demolished by militants in Kashmir since 1990”. It had also recommended to file criminal cases against those involved in vandalising these temples.

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