Union Ministry of Tourism has launched the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme in 2015 for identifying and developing the pilgrim sites across the country to enrich the religious tourism experience. Twelve cities namely Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Gaya(Bihar), Dwaraka(Gujarat), Amritsar(Punjab), Ajmer(Rajasthan), Kanchipuram(Tamil Nadu), Vellankani(Tamil Nadu), Puri(Odisha), Varanasi(Uttar Pradesh), Mathura(Uttar Pradesh), Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) and Kamakhya (Assam) have been identified for development under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) by the Ministry of Tourism.

The scheme aims at infrastructure development such as last mile connectivity, entry points, eco-friendly modes of transport, interpretation centres, ATM/Money exchanges, and other basic tourism facilities. This is different from that of the HRIDAY scheme. HRIDAY Scheme is Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana. It preserves and revitalises heritage cities. It makes the heritage cities more accessible, appealing. The scheme focuses on street lights, footpaths, roads, drainage, water supply, waste management and security. On the other hand, PRASAD scheme focuses on infrastructural developments in pilgrimage sites.

PRASAD is Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive. It was launched in 2015.

On November 4, 2020, the Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism and Culture Shri Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the “Tourist Facilitation Centre” at Guruvayur, Kerala. The centre was constructed under the PRASAD Scheme of Ministry of Tourism.


Objectives of PRASAD Scheme

The objectives of the PRASAD scheme are as follows:

  • Rejuvenation and spiritual augmentation of important national/ global pilgrimage destinations;
  • Enhance tourism attractiveness of identified pilgrimage destinations and heritage cities under integrated tourism development of heritage city in planned, prioritized and sustainable manner by providing world class tourism projects in them;
  • Position pilgrimage and heritage tourism as a major engine for its direct and multiplier  effects of economic growth and employment generation;  
  • Follow community-based development through ‘Pro-Poor’ tourism concept and ‘responsible tourism’ initiatives.  
  • Assure active involvement of local communities through employment generation
  • Creating awareness among the local communities about the importance of tourism for them in terms of increase in sources of income, improved living standards and overall development of the area.  
  • Promote heritage in the form heritage structures especially under integrated tourism development of heritage city, local arts, culture, handicrafts, cuisine, etc., to generate livelihood in the identified places.  
  • Strengthen the mechanism for bridging the infrastructural gaps at identified pilgrimage  destinations and throughout heritage cities as identified under integrated city heritage Page 3 of 24 tourism development within the core tourism footprint;  
  • Develop a monitoring mechanism for timely implementation of the projects in collaboration with the States/UTs and other stakeholders;  
  • Strengthen the measures for safety and security of pilgrims and tourists and, improve the quality of tourism services
  • Enable convergence of state and central government schemes as well as private sector developments for integrated site/ destination development
  • Harness pilgrimage tourism for its multiplier and direct effect on employment generation and economic development.
  • Follow pro-poor tourism concept and community-based development in the development of the pilgrimage destinations.
  • Leveraging public expertise and capital.
  • Enhance tourist attractiveness sustainably by developing world-class infrastructure in religious destinations.
  • Create awareness amongst the local communities about the importance of tourism for them in terms of improved living standards, increase in sources of income and overall development of the area.
  • Promote local culture, arts, cuisine, handicrafts, etc., to generate livelihood in the identified places.
  • important in tourism point of view, it is also in line with Act East Policy.


Around 12 cities were identified under the scheme. They were

·         Kamakhya (Assam)

·         Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh)

·         Gaya (Bihar)

·         Dwarka (Gujarat)

·         Ajmer (Rajasthan)

·         Kedarnath (Uttarakhand)

·         Puri (Odisha)

·         Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

·         Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

·         Velankanni (Tamil Nadu)

·         Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu)

·         Amritsar (Punjab).



Statement Rejuvenate pilgrimage and spiritual experience of the tourists through availability of wellplanned tourism infrastructure enabling tourist convenience, accessibility, security, cleanliness, experience and revitalize / preserve the soul of the pilgrimage/heritage city through integrated, inclusive and sustainable developments that would spur employment opportunities for the local communities.


Key responsibilities

National Steering Committee will be responsible for overall guidance, review and monitoring of the scheme.

·         Enunciate the vision and chalk out the road map for the scheme and provide a platform for exchange of ideas.  

·         Steer, review and monitor overall performance of the scheme and provide guidance on specific issues relating to the scheme.