The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday declared 22 wards of the Mathura-Vrindavan Nagar Nigam area as holy pilgrimage site.
Mathura and Vrindavan are the birth place and ''krira sthal'' of Lord Krishna. Considering Mathura and Vrindavan as holy places, lakhs of devotees from all over the country and abroad come for paying obeisance, Additional Chief Secretary Avanish Awasthi said in an official order.
These pilgrimage sites have mythological importance and are very important from the point of view of tourism, he said.
The official also noted that sale of liquor and non-vegetarian food items will now be banned in the 22 wards which have been notified as ''pavitra teerth sthal'' (holy pilgrimage sites).
Apart from the 22 Mathura-Vrindavan municipal corporation wards now declared as holy sites, nine wards have been given the same status previously, according to local authorities. Altogether, this area has 70 wards.
These 22 wards which have been declared as holy places of pilgrimage are Ghati Bahal Rai, Govind Nagar, Mandi Ramdas, Chaubia Pada, Dwarkapuri, Navneet Nagar, Vankhandi, Bharatpur Gate, Arjunpura, Hanuman Tila, Jagannathpuri, Gaughat, Manoharpur, Bairagpura, Radhanagar, Badrinagar, Mahavidya Colony, Krishna Nagar I, Krishnanagar II, Koyla Gali, Dampier Nagar and Jai Singh Pura.
The BJP-led state government had also formed Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad to promote tourism and develop Mathura and its surrounding areas.
The state government has initiated many important schemes for the development of Ayodhya and Kashi, having significant importance from religious tourism point of view.