In order to promote pilgrimage tourism in rural India, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has identified 12 locations to develop under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD).
The Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) to develop these locations, Amaravati village in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh; Gaya in Bihar, Dwarka in Gujarat, Badami in Karnataka, Puri in Odisha, Amritsar in Punjab, Ajmer in Rajasthan, Kanchipuram and Vellankani in Tamil Nadu, Warangal in Telangana, Varanasi and Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. HRIDAY is aimed at preserving and revitalising the soul and unique character of the heritage cities in India.
To implement PRASAD scheme, a Mission Directorate has been set up in the Ministry of Tourism. To execute the scheme, the budget provision of Rs 15.60 Crore has been made in Revised Estimate (RE) 2014-15. For development of basic facilities at Vishnupad Temple in Gaya, the first instalment of Rs 85.78 lakh has already been released.
This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Dr Mahesh Sharma in the Lok Sabha.