- Possibility of celebrating Gita Mahotsav in various state capitals will abe explored: CM ML Khattar
- The fortnight-long festival is held to commemorate the birth of “Bhagwat Gita'
- High Commissioners of 6 nations were present during the last international Gita Mahotsav
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said the government was exploring option of promoting the annual international Gita Mahotsav by arranging exhibitions at embassies of various countries.
The possibility of celebrating the festival in various state capitals will also be explored, he said.
The fortnight-long festival is held to commemorate the birth of “Bhagwat Gita', the sacred scripture containing the advice Lord Krishna proffered to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra on the first day of the 18-day battle in Mahabharata.
High Commissioners of six nations were present during the last international Gita Mahotsav.
He said Kurukshetra, which is a key destination for religious tourism, is being given a facelift.
Khattar said the BJP-led government has constructed a grand statue in Kurukshetra depicting the vast form of Lord Krishna which is made from the amalgamation of soil from 574 districts of the country and built according to 574 verses of Gita.
Khattar said that Shrimad Bhagavad Gita is the essence of life.
“It is a matter of great fortune for the country and the people of the state that this time on the occasion of International Gita Mahotsav, the celestial message of Gita will be 5,158 years old,” he said.
Haryana Government is celebrating International Gita Mahotsav since 2016.
This time the festival will start here from December 2 and will continue till December 19. The main events will be held from December 9 to 14, he added.
Khattar said that Shrimad Bhagavad Gita was also an inspiration for the freedom fighters of the country and added “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav-themed programmes” will be conducted to honour their sacrifice.
A three-day international Gita seminar will be organised at Kurukshetra University during the festival.
On December 14, about 1100 students will recite the Gita at Brahmasarovar, while 55,000 students from the country and abroad will participate in online Gita recitation.
Along with this, 75 eminent sculptors will make sculptures based on the theme of Mahabharata and Gita.
Khattar said that even before the start of International Gita Festival 2021, 3.5 lakh people from more than 25 countries including the US, Canada, and the UK became associated with the festival through social media.
Khattar said an International Gita Mahotsav Committee would be formed soon.
The committee will organise the International Gita Mahotsav in the coming time. It will be supported by the state government, administration, and Kurukshetra Development Board.
He said that welcome gates will be built on the major roads of Kurukshetra city. Developmental work will be done on 75 pilgrimages of Kurukshetra by August 15, 2023, he added.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government is continuously working for the development of Kurukshetra.
Kurukshetra was included in the Sri Krishna circuit under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of the Central Government, Ministry of Tourism.
Under this scheme, development works on Brahmasarovar, Narktari, Jyotisar, Sannihit Sarovar and the rest of the city were done.
A budget of about Rs 97.35 crore has been spent on these development works, he said. A Mahabharata theme building is being constructed in Jyotisar here spread over about two acres of land and 80 per cent of the project has been completed.
The project will become the main attraction for visitors. In the building, the scene of Mahabharata will be shown through a modern multimedia system.
The state government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 205.58 crore for this project, he said.
Khattar said that Brahmasarovar has been included in the country's 30 prestigious religious places list in the third phase, under the Swachh Bharat Mission by the Centre.
Responding to concerns on the new strain of COVID-19, the chief minister said protocols will strictly be followed during the festival.