LUCKNOW: Planning another push for tourism, the UP government proposes to set up Mahabharata, Krishna, Jain, Sufi and other circuits in the state. With UP claiming the second position in terms of domestic arrivals and third in foreign tourist arrivals, the Yogi government has proposed nine new circuits in the state.

 In the Mahabharata circuit, the government will connect Hastinapur in Meerut with Kampilya in Farrukhabad and Ahichchhatra or Ahi-Kshetra, the ancient capital of Northern Panchala whose remains have been found in Ramnagar, a village in Aonla tehsil of Bareilly district. For the Krishna circuit, the government will connect Mathura, Vrindavan, Goverdhan, Gokul, Barsana and Nandgaon. According to the tourism booklet prepared for “Investors’ Summit 2018”, the government also proposes a Jain circuit connecting Meerut, Agra, Kaushambi, Varanasi, Deoria, Ayodhya, Shravasti and Farrukhabad. A Sufi circuit, connecting Fatehpur Sikri, Rampur, Badaun, Bareilly, Lucknow, Kakori, Dewa Sharif, Bahraich, Allahabad, Kichocha Sharif, Syed Kadak Shah Dargah and Kantit Sharif Dargah, is also in the offing. The inclusion of Bahraich in the Sufi circuit is likely to invite RSS criticism as it is where Ghazi Baba’s mausoleum is situated. The RSS and its affiliates treat Ghazi Baba, also known as Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud, as an invader defeated by Raja Suheldev, and have been demanding a memorial in the latter’s name.
 The government is also planning craft, cuisine and culture circuits by connecting Lucknow, Agra, Rampur, Firozabad, Varanasi, Moradabad, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Kannauj, Pilibhit, Bareilly, Aligarh and Najibabad, etc. Incorporating adventure travel in the list, a water sports circuit is also on the anvil; it will connect Ramgarh Taal in Gorakhpur, Chuka in Pilibhit, Mata Tila in Lalitpur, and Vindhya and Rajgarh in Jhansi. The government is also planning a “Kanwar” circuit connecting Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gonda, Lakhimpur Kheri, Kalinjar and Ayodhya.
 Vindhyachal, Balrampur, Varanasi, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Sonbhadra and Saharanpur will be connected to the Shakti Peeth circuit.

The government has also planned a Freedom Struggle circuit connecting Bithoor in Kanpur, Kakori in Lucknow, Meerut and other cantonments