Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the country needs to strengthen religious tourism as this would provide new employment opportunities and ensure that the future generations will remain connected with India’s traditions and heritage.

Speaking at the inaugural event of various projects in Somnath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I am fortunate that as the Chairman of the Somnath Temple Trust, I got the opportunity to serve this holy place. Today, we all are witnessing the rejuvenation of this holy pilgrimage.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple projects in Gujarat’s Somnath Temple through video conferencing.

“We need to find new opportunities in religious tourism. The local economy has a deep connection with pilgrimage. With the rejuvenation of this holy pilgrimage, new job opportunities will be created and the divinity of the place will also increase.”

“The Somnath Exhibition Gallery has also been inaugurated. This will ensure the future generations will remain connected with our traditions and heritage,” PM Modi said.

Taking about the history of the temple, he said: “Somnath temple has been broken several times over centuries and attempts have been made to destroy the sculptures as well. However, it stood the test of time again and again.” The projects inaugurated include the Somnath Promenade, Somnath Exhibition Centre and the reconstructed temple precinct of Old (Juna) Somnath.

“When I talk about Bharat Jodo Andolan (unite India movement), it is not just about geographical and ideological connection, but an oath to create a new India with the legacy of our history. Ram Temple is being developed as a strong pillar of our new India,” PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister lauded the Tourism department and said that it has taken several steps to improve tourism across the nation with the help of which in 2019, India had jumped to 34th spot.

“Our Tourism department is developing tourist circuits based on 15 different themes under the Swadesh Darshan programme. These circuits will help the development of tourism and employment opportunities across regions. We have taken several steps to improve tourism across the nation. India was placed 65th on Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. Till 2019, it has jumped to 34th spot.”

“India has opened up 120 mountain peaks for trekking. To ensure a hassle-free experience to tourists, programmes have been started to train guides. This has also generated a huge number of employment opportunities,” he said.

The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of Shree Parvati Temple during the event. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism Shripad Naik, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and BJP’s veteran leader LK Advani were also present at the event.