Madurai

Ferry service between Rameswaram, Vivekananda rock memorial proposed

Minister for Information Technology M Manikandan inaugurating new buildings at Sethukarai near Ramanathapuram on Saturday.

Minister for Information Technology M Manikandan inaugurating new buildings at Sethukarai near Ramanathapuram on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: L_Balachandar

Ramanathapuram

Minister for Information Technology M. Manikandan said the Union Ministry of Tourism had proposed to introduce ferry service between the pilgrim island of Rameswaram and Vivekanandar rock memorial in Kanniyakumari as part of the plan to develop Rameswaram as the major tourist destination.

Addressing after declaring open ghat steps, restroom and dress changing room for pilgrims built at the total coast of ₹63.31 lakh at the coastal Sethukarai near here on Saturday, he said pilgrims who visited Rameswaram to pay obeisance to their forefathers and offer worship at the Sri Ramanathaswamy temple could reach the Vivekananda rock memorial by taking a boat ride, instead of travelling by road.

As Kanniyakumari was part of the itinerary of most of the north Indian tourists who arrived Rameswaram, the Ministry of Tourism has proposed to introduce “Vivekananda circuit’ - ferry service either from Angni Theertham seashore in front of the Ramanathaswamy temple or from Vivekananda memorial at Kunthukal, he said.

Pilgrims who came by road could send their vehicles to Kanniyakumari and continue the journey after sailing to the rock memorial, he said. The Centre has also already drawn ‘Ramayana Circuit’ to take the pilgrims to places of importance of epic Ramanayana in the island, he pointed out.

In all, the Central and State governments have drawn out plans to develop the pilgrim island of Rameswaram at the cost of ₹ 15 crore and Sethukarai, the place of religious importance, visited by Hindus to pay obeisance to their forefathers at the cost of ₹ one crore.

He said the department of tourism has constructed the ghat steps to enable pilgrims to offer worship at the Hanuman temple at the cost of ₹25.97 lakh, restroom for pilgrims at the cost of ₹27.59 lakh and dressing rooms at the cost of ₹9.75 lakh.

He said hundreds of people visited Sethukarai every week to perform rituals and pay obeisance to their forefathers. As the number manifold during the auspicious occasions such as Aadi and Thai amavasa days, there was an urgent need to keep the seashore clean all the time. Officials could involve the workers employed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to maintain cleanliness, he suggested.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 12:56:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/ferry-service-between-rameswaram-vivekananda-rock-memorial-proposed/article23937939.ece

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