I laid the foundation stone of Ashta-Chiranjeevi Dham at Nagi in Namthang, South Sikkim.
I also inaugurated the 12-roomed School Building-cum-Multipurpose Hall and Mid-Day Meal Dinning Hall of Namthang Senior Secondary School and dedicated these new infrastructures to the students of this institution.
A 54 ft bronze statue of Lord Hanuman along with 16ft statue each of Ashwasthama, Bali, Vyasa, Vibhishana, Kripacharya, Markandeya and Parshurama would be constructed to complete the group of ‘Ashta Chiranjeevis.’ According to Hindu belief, ‘Ashta Chiranjeevis’ are still alive on earth as they embody immortality. They are worshipped and their names recited for longevity. When completed, this dhaam, to be built at an estimated cost of over Rs.100 crores, will be the one and only of its kind, not only in India but in the world.The area will be developed into an eco-friendly, state-of-art Lord Hanuman Complex, inclusive of Prayer and Exhibition Halls, Meditation Huts, ‘Hawan Kund’, Guest House, Staff Quarters, Multipurpose Hall, Residental Quarters for ‘pujaris’ and parking facility. The Dham will be linked to other existing pilgrimage destinations of the State to boost religious tourism. I am sure that the complex will further provide ample job opportunities to the local people, and will serve as a perennial source of income for generations to come. I also stressed on the fact that Namthang will not only become a blessed land but also a major tourist destination. Resultantly, the value of land in the area will also increase considerably.
Later, while addressing the gathering at Namthang Senior Secondary Ground, I informed that Sikkim is the leading State in the tourism sector in the entire North East. The tourists footfalls in the State is more than three times of our population. Pilgrimage tourism has been given top priority so that our people are able to gain maximum benefits from this popular form of tourism.
I implored the school students to focus on their studies, labour hard and prepare themselves to shoulder greater responsibilities for the welfare of the society and the State. Students should always think and dream big. I advised them to be resourceful in the choice of their career options and become successful individuals in their chosen fields. At the same time, they should always strive towards becoming good human beings with high morals.
I also urged the people of Namthang-Rateypani constituency to opt for organic agriculture and be messengers in creating awareness on the importance of organic farming, which is not only a noble profession but also a responsible, life saving and earth saving occupation that offers numerous benefits and lucrative returns.