The State’s tourism department is planning to encourage dark tourism in Kedarnath. Defined as tourism involving travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy, dark tourism in Kedarnath is an initiative being taken by the State’s Tourism and Culture minister Satpal Maharaj. A Smriti Van (memorial forest) will be developed at Kedarnath where visitors will be able to learn about the 2013 disaster and pay homage to those who lost their lives here in the disaster. The department will submit its detailed proposal to the government.
Addressing the media here on Monday, Maharaj said that thousands of people had lost their lives in the June 2013 disaster at Kedarnath. Those who died included locals and people from across the nation who had come on pilgrimage to Kedarnath. The department wants to depict the details of the disaster including the tragedy and rescue. The tourism department plans to develop a Smriti Van with description of those who died in the 2013 disaster. Guides will also be posted here to provide proper information about various aspects of the disaster to the visitors. Stressing that encouraging dark tourism in Kedarnath would not send a negative message, the minister said that it is important to know about and learn from such disasters. He also cited the 9/11 memorial and Ground Zero in New York and other sites in France, Ukraine, Italy and Czech Republic where dark tourism is being facilitated.
U’khand to help Indian-origin citizens of Mauritius know about their ancestors & native place
The Uttarakhand tourism department will help non resident Indians to get in touch with their roots by providing them information about their ancestors and their native villages. Initially, this will be facilitated for Indian-origin people of Mauritius.
Addressing the media along with the high commissioner of Mauritius in India, J Goburdhun, the state’s tourism and culture minister Satpal Maharaj said that details of the ancestors will be sought in the historical records kept by priests in Haridwar, Badrinath and Kedarnath. It is being hoped that this will enable many Indian-origin people to learn about their ancestors and their native place. He said that pilgrims have been visiting Haridwar, Badrinath and Kedarnath for centuries now. Their names are recorded in documents maintained by the priests (Pandas) at these pilgrimage centres.
Goburdhun said that Mauritius will soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the Uttarakhand tourism department. Following this, pilgrims from Mauritius will receive rebate in the tourism department’s guest houses. Mauritius will also provide similar rebate to visitors from Uttarakhand. Exchanges will also be facilitated in adventure tourism, economic and cultural aspects.
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