Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a Central Sector scheme launched by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits. The scheme aims to promote, develop and harness the potential of tourism in India.

The article will provide detailed information on the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, its objective, significance and more.

Knowing the facts associated with Swadesh Darshan scheme is important for candidates appearing for various Government Exams. Aspirants might be asked questions based on the scheme under the general awareness of various competitive exams. 

Facts related to Swadesh Darshan also hold relevance in the Prelims and GS 3 of IAS exam.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme Latest News

Under Swadesh Darshan 2.0, the centre has selected 30 cities across 15 states to develop them as holistic tourist destinations.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme:- Download PDF Here

Gain an edge over your competition to ace competitive exams in the first attempt! Check the links for comprehensive preparation –

Swadesh Darshan

  1. Swadesh Darshan is a Central Sector Scheme.
  2. It was launched in 2014-15 by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India.
  3. It envisages 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.
  4. 15 thematic circuits have been identified under the Swadesh Darshan for development. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
What is a Tourist Circuit? 

Tourist Circuit is defined as a route on which at least three major tourist destinations which are not in the same town, village or city and not separated by a long distance as well. Tourist circuits should have well-defined entry and exit points. So, a tourist who enters should get motivated to visit most of the places identified in the circuit.

Now, Theme-based Tourist Circuits are circuits around specific themes such as religion, culture, ethnicity, niche, etc. A theme-based circuit can be confined to a state or can also be a regional circuit covering more than one state or Union territory.

Candidates can also go through relevant facts related to the PRASAD scheme, also launched under the Ministry of tourism which aims at the integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in a prioritised, planned, and sustainable manner in order to provide a complete religious tourism experience.  

Aspirants can know in details about various schemes or initiatives of the Government to drive the economic growth of the country.

Swachch Bharat Abhiyan Skill India Mission Make in India Programme
HRIDAY- National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Smart Cities Mission

To know more about other Government Schemes visit the linked article.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme – Objectives

  1. To develop circuits having tourist potential in a planned and prioritized manner
  2. Development of identified theme-based circuit in an integrated manner
  3. To promote employment through the active involvement of local communities. 
  4. Follow community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach.
  5. Promote cultural and heritage value of the country 
  6. To enhance the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world-class infrastructure in the circuits or destinations
  7. To aware 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.
  8. To promote local art, handicraft, culture, cuisine, etc. to generate livelihoods in the identified regions
  9. To harness tourism potential for the direct and multiplier effect on employment generation and development of the economy.
  10. To leverage the capital and expertise of the public.

Aim of Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  1. Promotion of tourism as a catalyst for economic growth and creation of jobs.
  2. Developing India into a world-class tourist destination.
  3. Developing theme-based circuits like ecotourism with ecological and cultural conservation.
  4. Developing professionalism and modernism in tourism with a focus on in-depth infrastructure development.
  5. Providing complete tourism by enhancing tourist-attractiveness in a sustainable manner.

Aspirants preparing for any government exams can visit the link provided to prepare even better for the examination-

  1. Free Online Quiz for Government Exams
  2. Government Exams Free Mock Test Series
  3. Government Exam Previous Year Question Papers with Solution PDFs

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. Know about the Buddha Circuit in detail here. 
  • 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. Read about Coastal Plains in India on the linked page. 
  • 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.

Other government schemes that aim to develop the North-East Indian Region are-

NERLP – North East Rural Livelihood Project North- East Council (NEC)
  • 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. 

Also, go through the following links-

National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem – NMSHE SECURE Himalaya Project
  • 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. Know in detail about Sufism in India on the linked page.
  • 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. 
DDUGJY – Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana Rural Tourism – Gist of Kurukshetra
  • 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.
Jainism in India Difference Between Buddhism and Jainism
  • 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. Read on, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 on the given link.
  • 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.

Read about Van Dhan Yojana by TRIFED intending to improve the tribal income through value addition of tribal products.

Swadesh Darshan 2.0

Under the Ministry of Tourism’s Swadesh Darshan 2.0 programme, the centre has shortlisted 30 cities from across 15 states to be developed as sustainable and responsible destinations

  • Cities of 15 states including Goa, Gujarat, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, etc. have been considered.
  • Some of the chosen tourist destinations included under this scheme:
    1. Dwarka-Dwarkadhish Temple, Rukmani Devi Temple, Sudama Setu, Shivrajpur Beach,  Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple, Gopi Talab and Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Mandir of Dwaraka, will be developed under this scheme and Dholavira (UNESCO World Heritage site) in Gujarat
    2. Colva and Porvorim in Goa
    3. Nalanda and Gaya in Bihar
    4. Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Bird Park and the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh
    5. Kokrajhar and Jorhat  in Assam

Swadesh Darshan 2.0:

  • Instead of focusing on theme-based circuits, under this, to attract domestic tourists, the focus is on one destination at a time.
  • It is in line with India’s new domestic tourism policy, which emphasises moving away from theme-based tourist circuits to reviving destination tourism.
  • It is a revamped version of the Swadesh Darshan scheme with the mantra of ‘Vocal for local’.
  • The Scheme is 100% centrally funded.
  • Strategic objectives are:
    • To enhance the contribution of tourism to the local economies
    • To create jobs including self-employment for local communities
    • To enhance the skills of local youth in tourism and hospitality
    • To increase private sector investment in tourism and hospitality
    • To preserve and enhance the local cultural and natural resources
  • Key principles include:
    • Develop benchmarks and standards for major tourism themes
    • Sustainable and responsible tourism
    • Destination and tourist-centric approach
    • Integrated development of tourism destination
    • Focus on Domestic Tourism
    • Policy and Institutional Reforms
    • Operation and maintenance on a sustainable basis
    • Synergy with other central and state schemes

Other Related Links – 

Sagarmala Project Bharatmala Pariyojana NRLM – National Rural Livelihood Mission
Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) National Urban Livelihood Mission

Aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam can check the links given below –

  1. UPSC 2023
  2. UPSC Calendar 2023
  3. UPSC Syllabus
  4. Analysis of the Press Information Bureau

You can also check out the preparation strategies for competitive exams to fine-tune your exam prep.

Online Quiz 2023


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.