Reasi, April 13
Inaugurating Baisakhi festival at Dera Baba Banda Bahadur, Minister of State for Finance and Planning, Ajay Nanda today said that the festivals and historical places have great heritage value and could become an attraction for tourists. The Minister underscored the importance of reviving age old cultural celebrations at historical sites and said that such events unite people of all sections and spread message of universal brotherhood. “When we come together to celebrate a festival, we cut across all social and political barriers. It is best means to strengthen bonds”, he added. He said the Dera Baba shrine has huge potential to attract pilgrim tourists who visit Shiv Khori and Katra throughout the year. He said such kind of festivals if duly publicized could play a pivotal role to attract the visitors to heritage sites like this. “Dera Baba broadens scope of tourism in our district to a considerable extent as it is located along Katra-Ransoo route” the Minister said and added the pilgrims travelling to Shiv Khori can enjoy the enchanting beauty and religious glory of this religious place. The Minister said that government is contemplating to develop many unexplored religious tourist destinations of the state and so far as Reasi is concerned, he said due attention would be given to promote spiritual tourism here. The Minister further added that apart from Dera Baba Baisakhi festival is also celebrated at other places like Pouni, Reasi, Katra, Arnas and other places of the district where people organize dangals and other cultural activities. He said this festival has contributed a lot in strengthening social fabric of the country. The Minister appealed the people to extend due cooperation in identifying and developing all important sites which may become part of religious and mainstream tourism in the district. He said “Celebrating a festival amounts to the celebration of cultural heritage of which we all are part.” A large number of people from different parts of state and country thronged the festival and enjoyed the various events including devotional songs.