BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 17 SEPTEMBER 2022
The pilgrim city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh has been nominated as the first-ever SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital during the period 2022-2023 at the 22nd Meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State in Samarkand, Uzbekistan yesterday.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had participated in the summit.
The nomination of Varanasi as the first ever SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital will promote tourism, cultural and humanitarian exchanges between India and the SCO member Countries. It also underlines India’s ancient civilizational links with Member States of SCO, especially the Central Asian Republics.
Under the framework of this major cultural outreach program, a number of events will be hosted in Varanasi during 2022-23, for which guests will be invited to participate from SCO Member States. These events are expected to attract Indologists, scholars, authors, musicians and artists, photojournalists, travel bloggers and other invited guests.
The regulations for nomination of the SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital were adopted at the Dushanbe SCO Summit in 2021 with an objective of promoting cooperation between the SCO Member States in the field of culture and tourism.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked all the member states for endorsing Varanasi as the first ever SCO tourist and cultural capital during the upcoming year 2022-23. This is a befitting recognition of the historic city and opens the door for greater cultural and people-to-people ties between India and the region,” said union foreign secretary, Vinay Kwatra.
He further informed the media that the Uttar Pradesh government along with the central tourism ministry will organise several events to celebrate this recognition.
In the year 2001, the SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Later in 2017 India and Pakistan have joined as permanent members.
Varanasi is one of the most prominent tourist places in India. The city attracts millions of domestic and international tourists. The temples across the city attract pilgrims.
The ghats and the Buddhist site Sarnath attract tourists from abroad. Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world, which makes it rich with cultural heritage. The city is home to ghats, temples, museums, and many Puranic places .It is also the parliamentary constituency of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Best Places to Visit in Varanasi :
· Ganges River. Sunset view of Varanasi from the Ganges River. …
· Dasaswamedh Ghat. Dasaswamedh Ghat. …
· Assi Ghat. Ganga Aarti at Assi Ghat. …
· Manikarnika Ghat. Funeral pyres burning at Manikarnika Ghat. …
· Dhamek Stupa. …
· Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple. …
· Banaras Hindu University. …
· Ruchika Art Gallery.
. Ramnagar Fort.
. Vishnu Tea Emporium.
PM Narendra Modi has transformed the 2800 year old city since becoming the lok sabha members in 2014 and today Kashi, the city of Lord Mahadev is in the bucket list of most of the international tourists who visit India.
Last year the PM inaugurated the International Cooperation and Convention Centre, Rudrakash. Some of his defining projects include the Ro – Ro vessels for tourism development on Ganga River and three lane flyover bridge on the Varanasi – Ghazipur Highway.
Many more highway development projects connecting Varanasi area slo in the pipeline under the Bharatmala project. The railway station and the airport have also got facelifts.
International standard super speciality hospitals have also come up in Varanasi in recent times. Some of the best hotels are Taj Ganges, Radisson Hotel, Ramada Plaza by Wyndham JHV Varanasi etc.