Mantalai, June 2 : Surrounded by deodar trees, lush green forests, this scenic place is not less than a ‘heaven on earth’ and soon will be a hub of tourists including the foreigners as it is coming up as state-of-the-art international yoga centre - as part of the previous NDA Government’s ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme launched to develop potential tourist spots in the country.
The centre is coming up over the sprawling 125-acre ashram of late Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari.
Situated in Chenani block of Udhampur in Jammu region, the Mantalai is around 28 km from the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
The centre is coming up as part of the 'integrated development of tourist facilities' project at Mantalai-Sudhmahadev-Patnitop circuit, an official added.
Central Minister Jitendra Singh, who has been re-elected from Kathua-Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituency, had got sanctioned Rs 80 crore during his last term to establish the yoga centre. Work on the project commenced in 2017 and the contract was awarded to National Projects Construction Corporation Limited.
Jitendra Singh told UNI that once Mantalai had the infrastructure and facility of international level, it would automatically come on the global tourist map.
“Facilities like swimming pool, airstrips, spa, helipads, gymnasium, auditorium, hostels and business convention centre are coming up at the centre,” he said, adding that the project also included cafeteria at Sudhmaha Dev and Patnitop.
Director Tourism, Jammu, OP Bhagat, told UNI, “There are reports that a team from the Government of India recently visited the spot for physical verification and the deadline fixed for the project in October-November this year.”
The ashram earlier housed airstrip, helipad, swimming pool, zoo, stud farms, cow shelters, orchards and forests, but after Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari's death in the air crash in 1994, it was shut. Now, after prolonged legal battle, it was taken over by the Jammu and Kashmir Government. (UNI)