The state government of Assam is vying to elevate the Kamakhya temple, its most touted pilgrimage hotspot, as the cleanest pilgrimage site in the country.
The ancient temple has been declared as a Swachh Iconic Place, with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurating and laying the foundation stone of Kamakhya Development Project on Monday.
“Kamakhya is one of the most important ‘Shakti Peeths’ in the country, and it is our solemn duty to keep the temple premises clean,” Sonowal said during the inauguration, reports NorthEastIndia.com.
He also stated that a clean environment would help in leaving a positive impression among a large number of devotees who flock to Kamakhya on an annual basis.
Great honors to have Maa Kamakhya Temple complex declared as Swachh Iconic place. Foundation stone laid by HCM @sarbanandsonwal & Hon Min of Petroleum & Natural Gas Sri @dpradhanbjp in presence of other esteemed colleagues. Thankful to Sri Pradhan for donating Re 25 cr for this pic.twitter.com/cpI3SU0Kk2
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) December 9, 2017
The project also aims to make the temple complex resting atop Nilachal hill in Guwahati, more accessible for the elderly and differently-abled and has deployed the tourism department to come up with different strategies.
Oil India Limited (OIL), has stepped in to support the project as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Alongside, the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has set aside Rs 25 crore to fund the development project.
“Assam has a lot to offer to the tourists—from natural beauty to pilgrimage sites—and they must be harnessed properly to develop the tourism industry,” Pradhan added.
One among the oldest Shakti Peeths across the country, Kamakhya Temple is a significant pilgrimage centre for Hindus, along with tantric devotees, and has been setting a precedent amidst religious sites since time immemorial with its unconventional reverence of a menstruating goddess as the principal deity.
The initiative will not only help in the upkeep of the sanctum sanctorum of the ancient temple but also pass along a good message that other religious centres across the country can emulate.