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Guptar Ghat: Ayodhya’s Resurgence as a Tourist Haven

Ram Vikas @ EW News 

Ayodhya’s Guptar Ghat, once relegated to a dilapidated stretch with a rich spiritual history, has undergone a remarkable transformation under the Yogi government’s proactive initiatives. The neglected site, previously reduced to a shelter for stray animals, is now a major tourist attraction, enticing visitors with water sports and boating activities. The government’s comprehensive efforts have not only revived the ghat’s ancient glory but also established it as a prominent destination in Ayodhya for religious, historical, and tourism pursuits.

 From Neglect to Prosperity

Before 2017, Guptar Ghat struggled with dilapidation, stray animals, and litter, overshadowing its spiritual significance and historical importance. However, the Yogi government’s commitment to revitalize Ayodhya led to a remarkable turnaround. The riverbank restoration, solid embankments, road widening, and introduction of tourist amenities transformed Guptar Ghat into a serene yet exciting location.

The Lakshman Path, connecting Rajghat to Guptar Ghat, underwent a significant upgrade, turning into a four-lane road through encroachment control and expansion. The government’s focus on beautification included various attractions, such as water sports, making the spiritually rich Sarayu’s banks a haven for both solace and excitement.

 Beautification Phases and Amenities

The three-phase beautification drive of Guptar Ghat has witnessed substantial progress. Completed projects include an open-air theatre, an aesthetically designed park with modern facilities, attractive sculptures, entrance gates, meditation cum yoga center, kiosks, toilet blocks, interpretation center, cafeteria, play park for children, CCTV surveillance, and more. The total cost incurred for these developments stands at Rs. 76.73 crores.

The challenges posed by the configuration of the Sarayu River’s bed prompted the government to address water level concerns. Construction of embankments and the restoration of barrages are underway, allowing for not only traditional boating but also the operation of motorboats and the upcoming introduction of solar-powered boats and regular cruises.

The concerted efforts of the Yogi government have not only revitalized Guptar Ghat but have positioned Ayodhya as a multifaceted destination, drawing pilgrims, history enthusiasts, and tourists seeking recreational activities. Guptar Ghat’s resurgence stands as a testament to the transformative impact of visionary governance on cultural and historical heritage.

Guptar Ghat is fast becoming a world-class tourist destination with a plethora of facilities:

1. Open Air Theatre: Hosting cultural programs and events.
2. Attractive Park: Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including an open-air gym, jogging track, and Victorian-style arc lighting.
3. Sculptures: Numerous attractive sculptures and mural sculptures enrich the cultural landscape.
4. Meditation cum Yoga Centre: Providing a peaceful environment for uninterrupted meditation and yoga activities.
5. Kiosks and Toilet Blocks: Ensuring the convenience of visitors with well-placed facilities.
6. Interpretation Centre: Serving as a CCTV surveillance desk, tourist facilitation desk, and coordination point.
7. Cafeteria: Offering diverse dishes in a delightful food court setting.
8. Play Park for Children:* Colorful swings for children to enjoy and play.
9. CCTV Surveillance:* Ensuring the security of the entire area through smart surveillance.
10. Selfie Points:* Light-enabled hoardings displaying ‘I Love Ayodhya,’ turning tourist spots into selfie points.
11. Heritage Solar Lighting:* Attractive lighting, including solar and facade lighting, enhancing the area’s allure during the evening.
12. 5G Access, Wi-Fi Zone:* Introducing 5G network services and Wi-Fi facilities, catering to the modern connectivity needs of visitors.

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