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GTA working on Triveni, Jamuni and Puttabong to emulate Sikkim to promote religious tourism

Darjeeling : The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, taking a leaf out of the book from neighbouring Sikkim, intends to emulate and promote religious tourism in the hills as well. Sikkim has witnessed a huge jump in the tourism sector in recent years. The GTA will be working on three projects at Triveni, Jamuni and Puttabong to construct statues of various Hindu gods in these places at a total cost of more than Rs 200 crore. GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung briefed the media saying that Triveni, around 35km from Darjeeling, would be converted into a pilgrimage spot and a detailed project report was being prepared for this. “We are preparing a DPR and the project at Triveni, once completed, will cost from Rs150 to Rs200 crore. Triveni, which falls between Darjeeling and Kalimpong sub-divisions and connects Sikkim, is already a tourist spot. People going to Sikkim can also halt there to take the blessings of the Hindu deities that will be installed,” he said. Tourism in Sikkim state is already in an upsurge after its government started promoting religious tourism vigorously. 

Places such as Char Dham, Buddha Park and Sangdupche, which have come up recently along with other older religious destinations, have been turned into a circuit for tourists, helping promote Sikkim as a favourite tourism destination. Plans are on to construct statues of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and a Samskrit school with boarding facilities. The details are being worked upon. “Besides the statues and school, we also plan to set up an old age home at Triveni and lodging facilities,” Gurung announced. He said the religious spot at Triveni, the confluence of the rivers Teesta and Rangeet, will be named TeestaAarati. “Like in the Ganga, we will have ‘aarati’ three times a day. We will also house 250-300 priests there. Therefore, we have decided to name the spot as TeestaAarati,” the GTA chief executive said. At Jamuni, 14km from Darjeeling town, construction is in progress for a 50ft tall statue of Shiva that is estimated to cost Rs7.6 crore once completed. This will include a meditation hall and land for development. Also being built at Janumi is an agro-horticulture park, a Mughal garden and a water kingdom. On the other hand, at Pattabung, about 6km away, a 30ft statue of Lord Buddha, a guest house and a beautiful landscaped area, will be constructed at a cost of Rs5 crore. 

- EOIC

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