Popular pilgrimage town Kedarnath will now be a dark tourism destination as confirmed by the Uttarakhand tourism minister Satpal Maharaj. Famous for the Kedarnath temple, it will no longer just be a religious tourist destination, reports Hindustan Times.
What is dark tourism?
Dark tourism essentially includes places that are ‘historically associated with death and tragedy.’ Kedarnath was struck by disaster in 2013 when severe flash floods engulfed the state. The tourism department will now build a memorial where people can pay respects to all those who lost their lives to the floods in 2013.
Other destination across the world that fall under dark tourism includes Ground Zero in USA which is memorial for 9/11. Maharaj said, “we want to build a memorial in Kedarnath giving details of the 2013 floods, what exactly happened there, how people dealt with the tragedy, how and from where all people died. All these will be a part of the dark tourism spot in Kedarnath.”
This will be established as an important memorial site in the state. Maharaj added, “People visiting Kedarnath will also like it as it will explain everything and more people will learn about the tragedy that took place in 2013.”
Uttarakhand and Mauritius to sign MoU in a bid to promote tourism
Last week, Maharaj visited four holy shrines in Kedarnath with the high commissioner of Mauritius to India, Jagdish Govardhan. The minister explained that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed by the Uttarakhand and Mauritius governments. This move is being made to promote tourism between the two regions.
The state government intends to give Mauritian tourists a 50% discount during the off-season in Kedarnath. Additionally, they will be given a 30% discount on bookings during the peak season. Also, tourists from the state that intend to visit Mauritius will also be given special discounts.
The minister explained that 80 citizens from Mauritius have already visited the Chardham shrines. Around 200 more tourists are expected for the Yatra in September.
The Uttarakhand government is also considering starting direct flights from places including London and New York. All of this is to ensure that the Chardham Yatra is more accessible to foreign tourists.