General Studies IISchemes

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Ministry of Tourism


Ramayana Circuit is one of the identified thematic circuit of ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme of the Ministry of Tourism under which 2 projects have been sanctioned. The Ministry has also sanctioned projects under Buddhist, Tirthankar, Krishna and Spiritual Circuits.

About Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

  • Swadesh Darshan is a Central Sector Scheme.
  • It was launched in 2014-15 by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India.
  • It theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
  • These tourist circuits will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.
  • 15 thematic circuits have been identified under the Swadesh Darshan for development. 
  • Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance – CFA to State Governments, Union Territory Administrations for the infrastructure development of circuits.
  • This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India etc. with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, the driving force for economic growth, building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realise its potential


  • To position tourism as a major engine of economic growth and job creation.
  • Develop circuits having tourist potential in a planned and prioritized manner.
  •  Promote cultural and heritage value of the country to generate livelihoods in the identified regions.
  • Enhancing the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world-class infrastructure in the circuit/destinations.
  • Follow community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach.
  •  Creating awareness among the local communities about the importance of tourism for them in terms of increased sources of income, improved living standards and overall development of the area.
  • To create employment through the active involvement of local communities.
  •  Harness tourism potential for its effects on employment generation and economic development.
  • To make full use of the potential and advantages in terms of available infrastructure, national culture and characteristic strong points of each and every region throughout the country by the development of theme-based circuits.
  •  Development of tourist facilitation services to enhance visitor experience/satisfaction

Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

  • 100% centrally funded for the project components undertaken for public funding.
  • To leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.
  • Funding of individual project will vary from state to state and will be finalised on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant). PMC will be a national level consultant to be appointed by the Mission Directorate.
  • National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted with Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme.
  • Mission Directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC as a nodal officer will help in identification of projects in consultation with the States/ UTs governments and other stake holders.

Tourist Circuit:

  • A Tourist Circuit is defined as a route having at least three major tourist destinations which are distinct and apart.
  • Circuits should have well-defined entry and exit points. A tourist who enters should get motivated to visit most of the places identified in the circuit.
  • A Circuit could be confined to a State or could be a regional circuit covering more than one State/Union Territory. These circuits may have one dominant theme and other sub-themes.

Swadesh Darshan – 15 Theme Based Circuits

  • Buddha Circuit – the most important pilgrimage destinations for Buddhist tourists are included in this circuit. States covered are Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. . 
  • Coastal Circuit – Coastal Circuit aims to strengthen India’s position as the land of “Sun, Sea & Surf”. The long coastline of India (7,517 KM) is spread over states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal etc. The coastal circuit also includes Andaman and Nicobar Island. 
  • Desert Circuit – the desert circuit in India, is a niche tourism circuit attracting tourists from across the globe. India is not only endowed with flowing rivers and vast forests but also with great deserts. The sand dunes and exceedingly high temperatures of the Thar Desert, the arid lands of Kutch and the valleys of dry and cold Ladakh and Himachal attracts a lot of tourist attention. 
  • Eco Circuit – The Eco tourism circuit aims at creating a positive interface between tourists and nature. For the global and domestic tourists to appreciate the diverse eco-tourism products in India, the circuit aims to create nature and environment-friendly destinations. The states covered are Kerala, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Mizoram and Jharkhand.
  • Heritage Circuit – India is blessed with a rich and vibrant heritage and culture with 36 Unesco world heritage sites and about 36 in the tentative list. Aimed at preservation, sustenance and better interpretative components, the heritage circuit aims at meeting the needs of the global traveller. States covered under this circuit are Rajasthan, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Puducherry, Punjab, Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana. 
  • North-east Circuit – The North East Circuit includes tourist-centric development in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
  • Himalayan Circuit – The Himalayan Circuit pays homage to the Indian Himalayan Region, occupying the strategic position of the entire northern border of the nation. The Indian Himalayan Region covers states like Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the North-East region. 
  • Sufi Circuit – This Circuit in India aims at celebrating the age-old Sufi tradition of the country. Teaching the path of unity in diversity, communal harmony and developing their own unique music, art and culture the Sufi Tradition and Sufi saints are revered in the country till date.
  • Krishna Circuit – tourism in India has historically been associated with religion. Religion and spirituality have always been common motivations for travel with many major tourist destinations having been developed. The development of Krishna circuit is basically aimed at developing the places associated with the legends of Lord Krishna across various states mainly Haryana and Rajasthan.
  • Ramayana Circuit – The development of Ramayana circuit is basically aimed at developing the places associated with the legends of Lord Rama across the country to facilitate and enhance tourist experience at these locations. The state that is on focus under this circuit is Uttar Pradesh.
  • Rural Circuit – The development of Rural circuit is aimed at leveraging the power of tourism as a force multiplier for revitalising the rural economy and for giving both domestic and international tourists a glimpse into the “True” India. The circuit covers Rural Circuit Malanad Malabar Cruise Tourism and Bihar Gandhi Circuit: Bhitiharwa – Chandrahia – Turkaulia. 
  • Spiritual Circuit – With more than 330 million people per annum travelling for spirituality globally, it is no wonder that India, “The land of Spirituality” needs tourist facilities across the country for these destinations. As the birthplace of four great religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and as a welcoming repository of all the major and micro-minority religious beliefs across ages, India is a “Must” destination for spiritual tourists domestically and globally. States under the spotlight of the spiritual circuit are Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Bihar, Rajasthan, Puducherry.
  • Tirthankar Circuit – There are innumerable Jain Shrines that dot the landscape of the country and talk about the association with the lives and activities of the Jain Tirthankaras, who have always spread the message of non-violence, love, and enlightenment. From a separate and unique style of architecture to cuisine and crafts, Tirthankar circuit aims at developing all the destinations of interest to the tourists.
  • Wildlife Circuit – The incredible range of wildlife makes India a hub for wildlife tourism. The wildlife circuits are aimed at “Sustainable”, “Ecological” and “Nature Centric” development across the multitude of National and State wildlife preserves and sanctuaries in India. States under focus are Assam and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Tribal Circuit – the tribal population of India has so far managed to preserve their ancient rituals, customs and culture even in today’s modern world. The tribal circuits aim to give the “Modern Traveller” a close and personal glimpse into the world of India’s vibrant tribal traditions, culture, festivals, craftsmanship, art, rituals etc. The tribal circuit covers the state of Chhattisgarh, Nagaland and Telangana for development.

Source: PIB

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