Haridwar, Oct 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the modern concept of circuit tourism existed in ancient India by way of spiritual journeys as he inaugurated the Umiya Dham Ashram for thousands of pilgrims visiting Haridwar.
Dedicating the ashram to devotees, Modi said: “The idea of a yatra existed as an integral part of our culture. Through a yatra, we get acquainted with various parts of the country we may never have seen otherwise. The concept of circuit tourism existed in our culture thousands of years ago in the form of a spiritual tradition.”
Modi said the ashram would benefit several pilgrims visiting Haridwar and lauded the work being carried out by the devotees of Maa Umiya.
Stating that spiritual institutions in India had always been the centres of social reform, the Prime Minister appealed to all devotees of the deity to become volunteers of cleanliness and add strength to the Swachh Bharat Mission.
“I appeal to all devotees of Maa Umiya, to become Swachhagrahis for the Swachh Bharat Mission.”
He said the work done by the Maa Umiya devotees has touched the lives of several people and mentioned how they were involved in spreading awareness on gender equality.