Union Ministry of Tourism has included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in India.
With the new additions, the number of sites under PRASAD has now reached to 41 in 25 states.
PRASAD Scheme was launched in 2014-15 by Union Ministry of Tourism. It aims at integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in planned, prioritised and sustainable manner to provide complete religious tourism experience. It focuses on the development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations.
PRASAD Scheme main objectives include:
Harness pilgrimage tourism for its direct and multiplier effect upon employment generation and economic development.
Enhance tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world-class infrastructure in the religious destinations.
It also seeks to promote local art, culture, handicraft, cuisine, etc.
PRASAD Scheme's Infrastructure development includes
Development of entry points (road, rail, and water transport), last mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities like Information/interpretation centers, ATM/ money exchange.
Development of eco-friendly modes of transport, lighting, and illumination with renewable energy sources, drinking water, parking, toilets, waiting rooms, first aid centers, craft bazaars/haats/souvenir shops/cafeteria, rain shelters, telecom facilities, internet connectivity etc.