Monday, September 28, 2020
Home Indian History & Culture Ramayana trail: How Modi government plans to revive the legacy of Lord...

Ramayana trail: How Modi government plans to revive the legacy of Lord Ram

Modi Sri Lanka

By Harshmeet Singh

Prime Minister Modi concluded his three nation tour after making a slew of agreements and announcements in Sri Lanka. While moves such as handing over more than 27,000 homes to the war affected people in Jaffna and an assistance of $318 million gathered much attention, his announcement regarding Indian Government’s plans to establish a Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka went away unnoticed.  

Ramayana Trail

The establishment of a Ramayana trail is aimed at developing all the Ramayana related mythological spots in the country. Though the PM fell short of announcing any budget or a deadline for the same, he did mention that his Government would soon be sending a team of experts to Sri Lanka to visit all such places that can be included under this plan.

The government plans to develop a number of modern facilities around these spots to ensure a constant tourists’ influx which, in turn, would take India’s heritage to different parts of the world. The PM also said that his Government would be happy to assist Sri Lanka in developing a similar Buddha trail in India.

Common history of India & Sri Lanka

The extremely rich Buddhist culture of Sri Lanka derives its roots from ancient India. According to ancient texts of Sri Lanka, it was Indian Emperor Ashoka’s son, Mahinda, who introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Impressed by the message of Buddhism carried by Mahinda, the Monarch propagated Buddhist values to the entire Sinhalese population of the island. The historic Nalanda University also had a number of Sri Lankan Buddhist monks on roll before it was brought to the ground by Mohammed Kilji. Notably, around 70% Sri Lankans still follow Theravada Buddhism.

The Indian epic Ramayana gives a detailed description of the island nation. According to Ramayana, the island was built by Vishwakarma as a gift for Kubera, the Wealth Lord. Kubera was later overthrown by his stepbrother, Ravana. The story of Sita’s abduction at the hands of Ravana is one of the best known folklores around the world. The ‘Ram Setu’ or the ‘Adam’s bridge’, believed to be built by Lord Rama to take his army to Lanka to fight Ravana still remains one of the most significant common heritage points between India and Sri Lanka.

Ram Setu

Historically, the Indian railway network extended up to Dhanushkodi (south of Chennai) from where frequent ferry rides took the passengers to the Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. The ferry used to travel over the submerged Adam’s Bridge. A devastating cyclone in 1964 destroyed the railway facilities at Dhanushkodi which were never resurrected after that. This put an end to the ferry rides between Dhanushkodi and Mannar Island.

The shallow water over the Adam’s bridge doesn’t allow large cargo chips to pass through it. Hence, the large ships coming either from Arabian Sea or Bay of Bengal are needed to travel around Sri Lanka to reach the other side. The construction of a canal through the ‘Ram Setu’ to ease out the marine traffic has been proposed multiple times, with the most recent project being ‘Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project’. Quite understandably, these plans didn’t go well with a number of religious groups who, presenting evidence from NASA’s satellite images, claim that this bridge was built by Lord Rama and has a high religious significance attached to it. Notably, the efforts to build this canal have also received thumbs down from a number of environmental experts who doubt the feasibility of such plans and claim that this could destroy the corals.

 Growing bonhomie through tourism?

A number of experts have lauded Modi’s methods of warming up to the neighbouring nations by giving references to our common heritage. As seen with many nations, tourism and common heritage can help the nations come together and solve a number of grave issues. Let’s hope the story between India and Sri Lanka goes the same way.

STAY CONNECTED

19,133FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,776FollowersFollow

Most Popular

High Levels of Air Pollution Leads to Increase in Electricity Consumption: Study

Researchers have found that high levels of air pollution are forcing people to consume more electricity, subsequently causing even greater environmental problems by increasing...

Using Weighted Chain Blankets May Improve Sleep of Insomnia Patients

Using weighted chain blankets may lead to better sleep maintenance, a higher daytime activity level, and reduced symptoms of fatigue, depression and anxiety among...

Pandemic Will “Turn Tourists into Travellers”: Rider Mohit Kharbanda

By Puja Gupta Rider and influencer Mohit Kharbanda has covered nearly 2 lakh kilometres across India and several other countries in his motorcycle since he...

SAATHI: Ministry of Tourism Partners QCI to Assist Hospitality Industry

To assist the hospitality industry in their preparedness to continue operations safely and mitigate risks arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of...

AR/VR, 3D Technologies in Online Shopping Can Enhance Consumer Purchasing: Report

As millions of people stay home in the pandemic, immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality and 3D content can enhance consumer purchasing...

Hockey India Conducts Online Course in a Bid to Improve Standard of Coaching

In a bid to continuously improve the standard of coaching across the country, Hockey India has been conducting the 'Basic' Level coaching course (online)...

Chatbot-Based AI Health Apps Can’t Replace a Doctor: Study

As millions of people turn to their mobile devices to talk to chatbot-based health apps, researchers have revealed that existing apps lack the functions...

7 Money Tips to Travel for Hard-line Backpackers

Travel is something that every millennial love to do, but most of the time it can also turn out to be very costly especially...

Recent Comments