Chandigarh June 20: Haryana Chief Minister Mr Manohar Lal announced that in view of the enthusiasm shown by the pilgrims to “Sindhu Darshan Utsav” in Leh– Ladakh , the State Government would sponsor 100 pilgrims of Haryana domicile next year.
Mr Manohar Lal was speaking at the ‘Abhinandan Samaroh’ organized in connection with 19th Sindhu Darshan Mahotsav at Panchkula, near here, late last evening.The Chief Minister also flagged off the Sindhu Darshan Yatra from Sector-14, Panchkula and wished the pilgrims safe and successful journey. About 75 pilgrims from ten States are participating in this Yatra.
The Chief Minister said that it was for the first time that the State Government has sponsored 50 pilgrims of Haryana domicile to visit “Sindhu Darshan Utsav” in Leh– Ladakh scheduled to be held from June 23 to 26, 2015. He said that the State Government would bear 50 per cent of travel expenses of 50 pilgrims , subject to a maximum of Rs 10,000. But keeping in view the overwhelming response shown by the pilgrims for this Yatra, the State government has decided to sponsor 100 pilgrims for this Utsav next year.
While underlining the importance of Sindhu Darshan Yatra, the Chief Minister said that such programmes not only provide an opportunity to visit places of religious importance, but also help in integrating the history and culture of our country. Recalling his old memories, he said that earlier he also got an opportunity to become a part of this Yatra. Apart from this, he had visited Ladakh five times as ‘Sangh Pracharak’. He said that Sindhu Darshan Yatra is a pilgrimage as it takes us to ancient and holy Sindhu river where the vedic culture has blossomed.
Mr Manohar Lal said that credit for starting the Sindhu Darshan Yatra goes to BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government as it was Mr Lal Krishana Advani who started the Sindhu Darshan Abhiyan in the year 1996. Since then, Sindhu Darshan Yatra was being organized every year. He said that earlier, a few pilgrims from the country used to participate in this Yatra but now ther number has increased to thousands.
He said that during the Sindhu Darshan Yatra, the pilgrims would also get a glimpse of natural beauty as it would pass through various tourist places like Kullu-Manali, Jispa and Paang before reaching its destination in Ladakh. Apart from this, the world’s highest (18800 feet) road also falls in the Leh area. He said that the Rohtang Pass remains closed for seven months in a year due to snowfall in the area but the good news is that a tunnel is being built under the Rohtang Pass which will provide all weather connectivity from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh to Keylong.
Later, the Chief Minister honoured the volunteers of Himalaya Parivar by presenting them medals. Earlier, while speaking on this occasion, Haryana Tourism Minister Prof. Ram Bilas Sharma described the Sindhu Darshan Yatra as Bharat Yatra. He said that this Yatra helps in bringing together people belonging to different religions. He also thanked the Chief Minister for sponsoring 50 pilgrims of Haryana domicile to visit “Sindhu Darshan Utsav” in Leh– Ladakh. On this occasion, he also released a book entitled as ‘Yog aur Islam’.
President of Himalaya Parivar, Haryana Mr Krishan Dhull said that now Leh-Ladhak has become easily approachable and as a result of this about eight lakh people visit this place every year. He said that a grand celebration would also be held on the return of pilgrims form the Yatra.
Member of Parliament Mr Ratan Lal Kataria, MLAs namely Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Asim Goyal and Mr Nayab Saini, Deputy Commissioner Panchkula Mr Vivek Atray, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Mr Amit Arya, other dignitaries and pilgrims were also present on this occasion