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Mandir and Economics: Illuminating the economic impact of Hindu Temples

As the Ram Mandir is now open to the public, people from across India and abroad will come to Ayodhya, boosting the local economy. Hotels, restaurants, taxi services, gift shops, guides and other service providers will generate more income, adding to the local economy.

India has a rich mosaic of cultural heritage where Hindu temples stand as architectural marvels, spiritual sanctuaries and symbols of the resilience of the Hindu community. The recent Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha has shown how Hindu Mandirs are beyond their religious significance as they play a pivotal role in boosting the nation’s economic landscape.

Hindu temples contribute significantly to local economies and foster community development. Interestingly, living and working in a holy Hindu city is beneficiary for everyone from an economic point of view, as Mandirs generate income for everyone irrespective of caste, religion, race and gender.

If we look at Bhavya Ram Mandir as an example, it gets easier to understand the effect of Hindu temples on the economy. Before the historic decision of the Supreme Court of India in 2019, where the apex court handed over the disputed land to Hindus to build the Bhavya Ram Mandir, Ayodhya was not a developed city. There was no airport, the railway station was in shambles, and the price of land was similar to a small city. In short, Ayodhya was more of a tier-2 or tier-3 city. Yes, there was a large influx of devotees, but it was not as great as Ayodhya became in less than five years.

When the judgment came in favour of Hindus, the land price skyrocketed overnight. The state and central government announced several projects to bring Ayodhya back to its glory. In less than five years, the Airport is ready and functional at Ayodhya and will soon become an international airport. The Railway Station got a massive facelift. Roads became broader and cleaner. New residential and commercial projects mushroomed in the city and around it. In short, Ayodhya became one of the most happening places in India because of one Hindu temple.

Bhavya Ram Mandir is being constructed with Rs 3,500 crore in donations from devotees. As the money is in a bank, it has given the bank cash flow to give out loans. Furthermore, the construction of Ram Mandir is a massive project that has given jobs to thousands of construction workers, contractors and skilled workers.

As the Ram Mandir is now open to the public, people from across India and abroad will come to Ayodhya, boosting the local economy. Hotels, restaurants, taxi services, gift shops, guides and other service providers will generate more income, adding to the local economy.

As the income of people living in Ayodhya increases, it will result in more taxes for the state, making it possible for the state to spend more on welfare schemes. The influx of religious tourists creates a vibrant economic ecosystem. It provides employment opportunities for the local population and stimulates the growth of ancillary industries.

Historically, Hindu temples have been centres of education, art and commerce. They provide a platform for traditional arts and crafts. Again, if we take the example of Ram Mandir, artisans and craftsmen from across the country are working on different projects. The intricate carvings, vibrant paintings, and architecture showcase religious devotion and the remarkable skills of India’s artisans.

Many temples engage in philanthropy as well. Several temples nationwide run state-of-the-art educational institutions, hospitals and social initiatives. They not only address the spiritual needs of the people but also the societal needs by contributing to the region’s overall development. Not to forget, almost all temples have massive kitchens offering free food for all devotees.

It is high time that the people of India realise the untapped economic potential of Hindu temples. Initiatives like digitising donation processes, online darshan, and developing temple-related merchandise can help boost the economy further. These steps can enhance the convenience for devotees and increase the outreach of religious institutions, attracting a wider audience.

Regarding sustainable and responsible tourism, Hindu temples can be crucial in promoting eco-friendly practices. With the immense devotion in the hearts of the devotees, it is much easier for the temple authorities to advocate environmental conservation and sustainable development. Temples can become a beacon of hope for Mother Earth’s future by guiding devotees to indulge in saving the planet. It can create a niche market of responsible tourists.

While the economic benefits of Hindu temples are limitless, it is essential to balance commercialisation and preserve the sanctity of these sacred places. It is necessary to plan and govern religious places with full transparency. Furthermore, it is necessary to ensure that the economic benefits help the Hindu community and small regional temples. While the economic benefits are for everyone in the area, it is essential to have moral consciousness to develop religious places for Hindus with complete adherence to the rituals.

To conclude, Hindu temples provide spiritual sanctuary and function as powerful engines of economic growth. Temples leverage their cultural, historical, and religious significance and continue to play a pivotal role in fostering regional development by creating employment opportunities and contributing to the country’s overall economic prosperity. It is high time that society and policymakers alike recognised and harnessed the potential while ensuring a blend of spirituality and economic progress.

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B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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