The Centre’s sanction of Rs 74.68 crore to develop an Anga circuit and tap unexplored sites would provide tourism a much-needed push in the state.
The Union tourism ministry has sanctioned the sum to develop the infrastructure following demands by Nishikant Dubey, a Bhagalpur resident and BJP MP from Godda constituency in Jharkhand. Travel enthusiasts would soon be able to explore ancient sites in the old Bhagalpur division, earlier known as Anga Pradesh. The circuit would cover Bihar and parts of Jharkhand and Bengal.
On February 12, Dubey, in a letter to Union tourism minister K. Chiranjeevi, apprised him of the poor infrastructure at Vikramshila Mahavihara, an ancient seat of learning at Bhagalpur’s Antichak village, around 279km west of Patna.
Dubey has been seeking development of an Anga circuit in the old Bhagalpur division, in Jharkhand and parts of Bengal. According to Dubey, of the amount, Rs 5 crore has been allotted to develop infrastructure at the excavated site of Vikramshila Mahavihara.
Dubey said: “The old Bhagalpur division, earlier known as Anga Pradesh has a religious and cultural history and holds limitless possibilities of tourism. I have been fighting to extend tourism corridors from Deoghar to Vikramshila via Maluti at Dumka and Tarapith in Birbhum (Bengal) and also from Parashnath Temple (Giridih) to Mandar hill at Banka.”
He said: “A proposed fossil park at Mandro and a bird sanctuary at Udhwa, both in Sahebganj district of Jharkhand, would be included in the tourism circuit. All these places are located within a radius of 150-200km of Bhagalpur.”
Rajesh Kumar, 37, a businessman at Kahalgaon, said: “Dubey’s initiative would put Vikramshila on the tourist map. It will also help in developing the region.”
Kumari Muskaan (18), a student in Godda, said: “The proposed circuit would also help develop many important places of religious and historical significance in the entire region.”
The MP said the remaining amount would be spent in areas falling under Godda parliamentary constituency. According to him, the Bengal government has started an initiative to prepare a detailed project report to develop a Tarapith-Deoghar religious corridor.
“We are trying to get more funds from state and central governments to boost the tourism industry,” he said.