Varanasi: The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department is working on a mega-plan to develop rural tourism in Varanasi in the post-pandemic era.
According to official sources, foreign tourists visiting Varanasi would be taken on a guided tour of villages in Varanasi — especially those that have been adopted and developed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his parliamentary constituency.
“Tourists would be given the option of arriving at these pre-decided rural destinations along the banks of the Ganga by boats,” Regional tourism officer Keertiman Srivastava said.
“There are several sites in rural pockets which have potential to attract domestic as well as foreign tourists. These sites have lush green and idyllic surroundings. As part of the plan, facilities for the tourists have been developed at these places. Ghats equipped with potable water facilities have been developed at Markandey Mahadev and Shooltankeshwar Temple,” he said.
Once the pandemic eases, tourists-both, domestic and foreign-would start coming to Varanasi. “So we are working on a plan to promote rural tourism, one that would help foreigners get an idea of life in rural Varanasi and they can also enjoy boat rides in picturesque surroundings,” he said.
There are plans to market these villages among domestic tourists as well.
“Tourist guides would be involved in the whole plan as they would tell the tourists about the destinations and idyllic surroundings. Tourists will be taken to see the village life in Kaithi, or be driven to Ramna, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s adopted village Jayapur or for that matter could be taken to Kakarahia to have a feel of rural life,” he said.
“So far these Kashi villages are frequented by domestic tourists, mostly from places adjoining Varanasi. Now, we will market these villages among domestic tourists. The rural tourism would also give a boost to the village economy. We plan to involve boatmen too in our efforts,” he said.
Boatmen will be trained in increasing awareness about rural tourism and encourage tourists to take boat rides.