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Incentives For Spiritual Pilgrimages In India

Various state governments offer benefits and concessions for pilgrims. Here is a list of some of them

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Himakshi Panwar
May 25, 2023
Incentives For Spiritual Pilgrimages In India

If you equate travel with spirituality, you are not the only one. According to a study by Visa-EY, 60 per cent of tourists in India travel to places that give them peace of mind and spiritual satisfaction. Luckily, the Indian government has launched many schemes to facilitate easy travel to spiritual destinations in India. Perks include concessions and financial compensation.

 

Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana, Delhi   

From Vrindavan to Vaishno Devi, Rameshwaram to Tirupati, this tour covers the primary pilgrimage destinations in India. The incentive scheme was launched in 2018. It is free of cost for citizens over 60. To participate, applicants must seek a certificate from their local MLAs confirming that they live in the legislator’s constituency.

Duration: Usually five to seven days from destination-to-destination

Benefits: The scheme also extends its benefits to senior citizens residing in nursing homes. The comprehensive coverage of all expenses, including food, accommodation, and travel, is covered under the scheme.

 

Barishta Nagarika Tirtha Yatra, Odisha   

Launched in 2016, this scheme provides financial support for organising large-scale journeys for citizens who are 60 and above. While the state looks after the overall expenses, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) provides pilgrims with meals thrice a day, boarding expenses, booking guides, and tour vehicles. Travellers get to explore the Kashi Vishwanath shrine in Varanasi, among other destinations.

Duration and cost: This tour is divided into three segments. Each trip costs INR 18,000, 12,000, and 16,000, respectively.

Eligibility: Those who are 60 and above are eligible for compensation.

Benefits: There is financial compensation for the eligible population, with specific compensation percentages available for individuals below and above the poverty level. Applicants between 60 to 70 years who do not possess a BPL certificate and do not pay taxes will receive a 50 per cent reduction. Individuals between 70 to 75 years will receive a 75 per cent compensation.

 

Goa Mukhyamantri Dev Darshan Yatra Yojana, Goa  

For citizens above 50, this government scheme is a great initiative. Launched in 2022, it provides free transportation for participants to various religious destinations in the country. The pilgrimage sites include Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Velankanni in Tamil Nadu, and Shirdi in Maharashtra.

Benefits: Along with travel expenses, the state provides food and accommodation for the pilgrims. Physicians and caretakers are also brought on board for safety measures.

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