In a press release yesterday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced the new status for Govardhan and 4 other towns of Braj. When the CM visited Barsana so promote Braj’s famous Lathmar Holi, he mentioned that other towns in Braj will soon receive the official pilgrimage site status that locals had been demanding.
The towns to be included on the list of official pilgrimage places are: Govardhan, Radhakund, Gokul, Nandagaon and Baldev.
The announcement means that restrictions on selling of meat and liquor will be strictly enforced in the towns, pleasing many residents. The official status also means that extra funds will be allocated to improve the cleanliness, infrastructure and visitor services in the towns.
Minister for culture, Lakshmi Narayan Chaudhary, said that extra attention will also be paid to education, health services, sewage treatment plants in the towns.
After the announcement of Vrindavan and Barsana as official pilgrimage sites in October last year, there was a crackdown on meat sellers in Vrindavan. The ban on selling in Hindu pilgrimage sites is an impediment to Mathura becoming an Official Pilgrimage Site as there is a large Muslim population in the town.