The central government has selected Assam’s Kaziranga amongst 17 Iconic Tourist Sites in India.
“Pursuant to the Budget announcements of year 2018-19 and year 2019-20 Ministry of Tourism has identified 17 sites in 12 clusters in the country for development as Iconic Tourist Sites,” Union minister of state for culture and tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel said on Monday.
Apart from Kaziranga, the other places are Taj Mahal & Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), Ajanta & Ellora (Maharashtra), Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort & Qutub Minar (Delhi), Colva (Goa) and Amer Fort (Rajasthan).
Somnath & Dholavira (Gujarat), Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh), Hampi (Karnataka), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Kumarakom (Kerala) and Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar) are also in the list.
Union minister Patel said the ministry shall be developing the sites in an integrated manner with focus on issues concerning connectivity to the destination and better facilities/experience for the tourists at the site.
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He also said the ministry will also focus on the skill development, involvement of local community, promotion & branding and by bringing private investment to develop the sites.
“Availability of land free from all encumbrances for the proposed developments under the scheme is the responsibility of the respective State Governments/UT administrations,” the union minister said in Lok Sabha.
One of the most sought after wildlife holiday destinations in India, Kaziranga National Park is home to more than 2200 Indian one-horned rhinoceros, approximately 2/3rd of their total world population.
The park, set up in 1908 on the recommendation of Mary Curzon, is located in the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots – Golaghat, Nagaon and Sonitpur districts.
The park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.