From a non-descript pilgrim centre to a boom town for the hotel industry, Ayodhya’s fate and skyline are in for a mega change in the hospitality sector, driven by the inauguration of the Ram temple on January 22 and fuelled by the rush of devotees ever since.
Witnessing phenomenal transformation, Ayodhya, which has been in global focus, will get a further boost after ₹4233 crore projects for the construction of at least 142 hotels, including luxury ones, are launched at the groundbreaking ceremony that the Uttar Pradesh government proposes to hold in Lucknow on February 19.
The state tourism department had signed the memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for the hotels in Ayodhya with private players at the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors’ Summit held in Lucknow on February 10-12 last year.
Hindustan Times has a copy of the documents giving details of proposed investments and groups lining up for the same in Ayodhya.
The hotels to be built in Ayodhya will be of all sizes, ranging from 200-room capacity ones to budget hotels of 20-50 room capacity.
According to the details accessed by HT, Sri RamKripa Hotels Pvt Limited and BEL will build 200-room hotels each in Ayodhya with an investment of ₹150 crore each.
Sun Infraengineering Pvt Ltd has signed an MoU of ₹175 crore with the state government for a 150-room hotel project in Ayodhya.
“This figure of 142 hotels (will) scale up by the time the groundbreaking ceremony takes place,” the Uttar Pradesh government’s principal secretary, tourism, Mukesh Meshram said.
Two mega hotels with a capacity of 200 rooms each, 20 hotels with a capacity of 100-175 rooms each, 47 hotels with 50-99 rooms each and 65 hotels with less than 50 rooms each will come up in Ayodhya.
“Big hotels, budget hotels, resorts, permanent tented accommodations, Swiss cottages and ashrams will come up in Ayodhya,” Meshram said.
“Ayodhya’s rapid growth trajectory is not only changing its image of a mofussil town but bringing this temple town into the league of fast-developing cities,” said Vipul Varshney, the architect who has designed the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport, Ayodhya Dham.
“Tata Group’s Indian Hotels Company Ltd is also in talks with the state government for its hotel to come up in Ayodhya,” said a senior official of the state government.
“The state government may sign an MoU with the Tata Group at the groundbreaking ceremony,” the official said.
Some luxury hotels have already started operations in Ayodhya. The Park Inn by the Radisson group is one of them. Clarks Inn Express is another.
Several big hotels have come up in the recent past on the Ayodhya-Lucknow bypass road, offering services like any other luxury hotel in a metropolis like Delhi or Mumbai.
Ayodhya’s fate began changing after the November 9, 2019, judgment of the Supreme Court that paved the way for construction of Ram temple.
This change got further push after Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over bhoomi pujan of Ram Mandir on August 5, 2020. Modi presided over consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla on January 22 this year, marking the grand opening of Ram Mandir.
As part of the city’s development push, the state government has already approved New Ayodhya Township or the Green Field Township spanning 1407 acres on both sides of the Lucknow-Gorakhpur highway.
Described as the most ambitious project of the Yogi Adityanath government, it has been conceptualised to de-congest Ayodhya.
The state government’s housing and urban planning department will execute this project that will be extended by 442 acres in the second phase.
Modi had launched the project during his Ayodhya visit on December 30 when he also inaugurated the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport Ayodhya Dham and the Ayodhya Dham Junction railway station.