Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed the need for India to strengthen its religious tourism, as this would provide new employment opportunities and ensure that the future generations will remain connected with the country’s tradition and heritage.
“Somnath Temple is integral to our culture and ethos. Inaugurating development works there. #JaySomnath,” the Indian PM said on Twitter.
Speaking at an inaugural event on August 20 of various projects in Somnath, Gujarat, Modi noted: "I am fortunate that as the Chairman of the Somnath Temple Trust, I got the opportunity to serve this holy place. Today, we all are witnessing the rejuvenation of this holy pilgrimage."
He went on to lay the foundation stone of multiple projects at Somnath Temple through the virtual event.
Modi added: "We need to find new opportunities in religious tourism. The local economy has a deep connection with pilgrimage. With the rejuvenation of this holy pilgrimage, new job opportunities will be created and the divinity of the place will also increase.
"The Somnath Exhibition Gallery has also been inaugurated. This will ensure the future generations will remain connected with our traditions and heritage."
Taking about the history of the temple, he said: "Somnath temple has been broken several times over centuries and attempts have been made to destroy the sculptures as well. However, it stood the test of time again and again."
The projects inaugurated include the Somnath Promenade, Somnath Exhibition Centre and the reconstructed temple precinct of Old (Juna) Somnath.