Drawing inspiration from the submersible expedition to the Titanic shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gujarat government plans to dive into deep underwater tourism by signing an MoU with Mazgaon Dockyard Limited (MDL) to acquire a submarine.
The initiative aims to provide unique underwater experiences in the untouched waters around Bet Dwarka, a small island near the existing Dwarka, and to the sunken lost city of Dwarka in the Arabian Sea.
Dwaraka city holds tremendous significance for Hindus, as it is believed to be established by Lord Krishna.
The forthcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, slated for 10 January next year in Gandhinagar, is likely to be the platform for the official declaration about the submarine tourism project.
This will be the first underwater tourism facility in India through a submarine. As per the current plan, the government aims to operationalise the project before Diwali in October 2024.
The Gujarat government and MDL will collaboratively work to construct a submarine estimated to weigh approximately 35 tonnes, with the ability to carry 30 passengers.
This submarine will feature seating for 24 passengers in two rows, each seat equipped with a window view, enabling passengers to enjoy the oceanic beauty at 300 feet deep with ease.
Sanjeev Singhal, the Chairman and Managing Director of MDL, stated that even though the MoU is already signed, the commencement of the submarine's construction will only take place following the final decision from the state government.
“We have entered into an MoU with the government of Gujarat. We are still at the MoU level and until something is finalised, we cannot go ahead with the construction of the said submarine,” Singhal was quoted as saying by Times of India.
The mystery surrounding the existence of Dwarka, its prosperity as a city, and its eventual sinking, has fuelled many archaeological investigations along the Indian shoreline.
These explorations have revealed submerged walls that were once components of a fortified city, as well as pottery, sculptures, and other artifacts.
Dwarka remains a well-known destination for spiritual journeys. The renowned Dwarkadhish Temple of present-day Dwarka, also referred to as Jagat Mandir, serves as a significant place for devotion and a notable landmark.
The initiative of the state government to launch a submarine tourism project in Gujarat has the potential to change the state's tourism industry.
Apart from reshaping the tourism landscape, it also holds the promise of generating employment prospects and luring investments to the region.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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