Govt. of India

Swadesh Darshan scheme

India is the most famous country all through the world for the travel and tourism because of the availability of many religious lifestyles here. Our country is full of heritage sites, historical monuments, beautiful sight-seeing, etc. which makes India a best tourism place. Tourism to India is the economical source for the country and many lives depends on this. Because of the technological advancements everywhere, tourism has been very easy to any country. People are interacting to a great extent with the natural and historical sight-seeing in India. However, there are lot to be done in order to improve the prospects of tourism in India to attract more tourists to give foreign tourists a memorable experience like never before anywhere else in the world. Because of this Indian government started a new project called Swadesh Darshan Scheme which help to enhance the tourism in India for both Indian and foreign tourist.

The Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Government of India has formulated a plan scheme Swadesh Darshan for integrated development of tourist circuits around specific themes. The five circuits identified under this Scheme are Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit and North-East Circuit. These circuits/destinations cover major and relevant tourist places and attractions and have a mix of culture, heritage, spiritualism, and Ecotourism to give a holistic perspective of the country. Tourism contributes foreign exchange in a big way to the exchequer of India and it contributes 6.8 percent of the GDP share in India.

What is a Tourist Circuit?

A Tourist Circuit is defined as a route on which at least three major tourist destinations are located such that none of these are in the same town, village or city. At the same time, it would be ensured that they are not separated by a long distance. It should have well defined entry and exit points. A tourist who enters should get motivated to visit all the places identified in the circuit.

Theme based tourist circuit is a tourist circuit around specific themes, such as religion, culture, ethnicity, niche, etc. It can be confined to a state or could be a regional circuit covering more than a State/Union territory.

  • The Heritage Circuit in Uttarakhand: It covers Jageshwar-Devidhura-Katarmal-Baijnath sites with total project cost of approximately 83 crores rupees
  • Coastal circuit in Tamil Nadu: It envisages development of Chennai-Mamamallapuram-Rameshwaram-Manpadu-Kanyakumari. The total project cost is of approximately 100 crores
  • Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh: It envisages development of two destinations, Chitrakoot and Shringverpur.
  • North East circuit in Sikkim: It includes development of cultural centre, paragliding centre and craft bazaar for mountaineering and meditation hall at approximate project cost of 95 crores.
  • The Heritage Circuit in Madhya Pradesh: It covers developing Tourism Infrastructure Gwalior-Orchha-Khajuraho-Chanderi-Bhimbetka-Mandu. The total project cost is of approximately 100 crore rupees.

Objective of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

  • Integrated development of Infrastructure in identified theme based circuits
  • Provide complete tourism experience with varied thematic circuits
  • Follow community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach
  • Creating awareness among the local communities about the importance of tourism for them in terms of increase in sources of income, improved living standards and overall development of the area
  • Promote local arts, culture, handicrafts, cuisine, etc. to generate livelihoods in the identified regions
  • Harness tourism potential for its direct and multiplier effects in employment generation and economic development

Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

  1. The scheme is 100% centrally funded for the project components undertaken for public funding
  2. To leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector
  3. Funding of individual project will vary from state to state and will be finalised on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant)
  4. A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted with Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme
  5. A Mission Directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC as a nodal officer will help in identification of projects in consultation with the States/ UTs governments and other stake holders
  6. PMC will be a national level consultant to be appointed by the Mission Directorate

Government plays the larger role in this scheme. Since the scheme was launched by the central government and ministry of India jointly the entire funding and development process will be done by the government only.

Reference & Details:

  1. For more information visit official site: http://tourism.gov.in/swadesh-darshan-prasad-scheme-guidelines-0
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