Patna: Travellers to Gaya, one of the most favourite tourist destinations in Bihar, will have ropeway excess to visit Brahmyoni Hills and Dungeshwari Hills in coming years. In view of the rising number of tourists visiting the spots of archaeological and religious importance in Gaya, the State Tourism department has decided to build ropeway on these two hills.
The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) has been named as the executing agency for the project, which would cost about ₹25.43 crore.
Additional Chief Secretary, Cabinet, S Sidharth said that the State Cabinet has approved the construction along with the estimate, which is double the cost of earlier estimates finalised and sanctioned in the year 2016. “The BSTDC will soon issue the expression of interest from qualified construction firms to execute the project at the earliest,” added Sidharth.
Situated to the south of Gaya, Brahmayoni Hill, the highest hill of the town has been named after a natural fissure on its top, which is believed to represent the female energy or yoni (vagina) of the God Brahma. A small temple on the hill a five-headed female image is worshipped as a female energy of Brahma-Brahmayoni.
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This temple was built by one Maratha chief named Balaji Pandit. An inscription on hill records the construction of steps to the hill by Rao Bhau Sah during the reign of Jayaji Rao Scindia of Gwalior in about 1843 AD. The Brahmayoni Hill is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. Two caves namely Brahmayoni and Matreoni are also situated on the hill along with an ancient temple of Astabhuja Devi. The steps (around 400) are very steep and require a lot of effort to climb up and come down.
Dungeshwari Hill is located at a distance of about 12-15 kms from Gaya, along the Falgu river. Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang has mentioned these hills in his travelogue. The hill is famous for the cave temples, where Lord Buddha is said to have meditated before arriving in Gaya for his enlightenment.
The caves lack visual appeal but offer a surreal experience for those who let the transcendental energy take over their conscience. One of the cave temples is dedicated to the Hindu goddess, Dungeshwari.
Cost factor delayed projects
The Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited (BRPNNL) was earlier assigned the task of building the ropeways on Brahmyoni and Dungeshwari Hills in the year 2016. Accordingly, it had prepared estimates of ₹4.24 crore (for Brahmyoni Hills) and ₹8.43 crore (Dungeshwari Hills) and offered the work of the projects to M/S Rites Limited in the same year.
As per the recent revision in estimates, the BSTDC will now spend ₹ 8.67 crore and ₹16.76 crore on building ropeways to Brahmyoni and Dungeshwari Hills respectively.
Officials said that the BRPNNL had to invite tenders for roping in the experienced construction firms for implementing the project after the Rites Limited declined launching work citing low budget. Officials, however, did not specify the exact reasons that prompted the Rites Limited to pull out.