Mata Jayanti Devi temple makes it as a heritage site as part of religious tourism plan in Punjab.

Besides Dr Singh, Punjab Minister for Tourism Jagmohan Singh Kang and Prof Kiran Joshi of Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) took part in the heritage walk.

Jagmohan Singh Kang said, ‘‘Governments have never given importance to heritage. They have always treated tourism and sports as something secondary. But it’s all going to change now.’’

‘‘Tourism in Punjab is predominantly religious, and with the peace process across border in order, the influx of tourists will increase. So, the state government is now committed to preserve and conserve its cultural heritage and project the same for promotion of tourism,’’ Kang said.

The minister announced that ‘‘Rs 13.95 crore would be spent on the preservation and re-construction of the retaining walls of the shrine.’’ In addition to this, Rs 8 lakh would be spent on maintenance and refurbishment, he added.

‘‘When we talk of heritage, we talk of preservation for posterity. We talk of conservation of the tangible and the intangible. The significance of this place is the history of this region, its architecture and the socio-cultural aspects. Plus, we are creating awareness about INTACH, its presence and work to save heritage sites in and around Chandigarh,’’ Prof Kiran Joshi said.

The minister also apprised mediapersons about tourist circuits and tourist advisory committees at district level.

‘‘There is the Freedom Struggle Circuit where places of that period will be restored, then religious circuit and finally destination development which will focus on Patiala-Wagah-Amritsar border,’’ he tells us, adding that, linking roads, refreshment facilities, tourist information centres will also be upgraded simultaneously.

A panting competition was also organised at the spot. Dr V.N. Singh and Prof Joshi judged the paintings and sketches made by the students of Government College of Art and Chandigarh College of Architecture.

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