Raipur: The Chhatisgarh State Government has drawn up an ambitious action plan to put Mata Kaushalya Mandir – known to be the only of its kind in the world – prominently in the Ramayan Circuit.
With the Ram Mandir, coming up at Ayodhya, as its epicentre, the BJP-led Union Government has mooted the Ramayan Circuit that aims at boosting Hindu pilgrimage tourism.
Known as a visionary, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, despite belonging to BJP’s arch rival Congress Party, rose above the politics of religion and decided to develop Chandkhuri village that houses Mata Kaushalya Mandir as a major attraction for the pilgrims and tourists of the Ramayan Circult.
Baghel had laid the foundation stone for the expansion of the 1300-year-old temple ahead of the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
Mother of Lord Ram, Kaushalya was believed to be born at Chandkhuri, a village located at a distance of 22 kilometres from Raipur, the capital city of Chhatisgarh.
Stated to be built during 8th century, the ancient temple is located at the centre of a lake. The temple has the idol of Mata Kaushalya holding Lord Shri Ram in her lap.
The temple had been damaged and rebuilt several times, researchers say.
The Chief Minister has directed that the ancient Mata Kaushalya temple should be kept intact while giving a new look to the site, officials shared.
The renovation project would cost nearly Rs.16-crore, they added.
The project also includes construction of a bridge over the lake in order to enable the visitors to reach the temple, a dharamshala for the pilgrims, civic amenities for the tourists and beautification of the site.
In the era of The Ramayan, Chhattisgarh was known as Dandakaranya. It has several placed linked to the epic. The Chief Minister has a special plan to develop and highlight all these sites gradually, the officials informed.
One such site would be the Valmiki ashram in Turturiya, it was learnt.