PTI | | Posted by Zarafshan Shiraz, Shimla/dharamshala
The first religious circuit bus was launched from Dharamshala to Chintpurni-Jawalamukhi by Managing Director Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) Rohan Thakur and Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kangra, Nipun Jinal on Saturday.
Routes of religious destinations would be redesigned and 100 such routes would be identified for running the HRTC buses under the ‘darshan’ scheme, Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri had stated on Tuesday.
Another bus service from Chintpurni Mata to Khatushyam in Rajasthan would be started on October 23, Thakur told PTI, and added that buses would be plying in more such routes in the coming days.
“We are working on two strategies, to start new routes and publicise old existing routes like Shimla to Amritsar, Shimla to Chintpurni and Shimla to Hatkoti temple. Over 1.5 crore people visit Chintpurni and Jawalamukhi temples every year and the idea is to provide a comfortable and affordable travel,” he added.
The bus service would start from Dharamshala at 8 am, reach Chintpurni Mata Temple at 10:30 am, Jawalamukhi Temple at 2 pm and will be back to Dharamshala at 5:30 pm. The booking window was opened on Thursday.
The day-long tour in the 3X2 AC bus would cost ₹400 per person and would facilitate darshan in Jawalamukhi and ‘sugam darshan’ at Chintpurni. Under the Sugam Darshan Pranali, a pass is issued to a person for ₹220 for VIP darshan, which implies they don’t have to stand in the queue for darshan. A maximum of 500 such passes are issued in a day.
Himachal is abode to a large number of ancient temples, five shakti peethas, including Chintpurni, Barjeshwari Mata, Chamunda Devi, Naina Devi and Jawalamukhi Maha Shaktipeeth. Lakhs of devotees visit these religious places round the year.
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