In 2021, when the COVID-19 virus was still prevalent in India, the Ministry of Tourism created and launched a website named utsav.gov.in and called for the content of various events and festivals as well as, live darshan details of temple deities from all the States/UTs. The state ranking list revealed by MoT declared Maharashtra as number 1 on the portal with 10 published live darshan listings and, among the top 10 states with 8 published events and festivals listings.
During the pandemic, when the devotees couldn’t physically visit these holy places, the temple authorities initiated an online darshan. It became convenient not only for the management but also for the devotees who were able to get a glimpse of the God/ Goddess from the comfort of their homes.
Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Tourism Department, Govt. of Maharashtra said, “I
am glad that our department is keeping pace with the digital trend where tourists want to get all the information with a single click. Religious tourism is the oldest form of tourism followed in India and, where Maharashtra has unique religious circuits like Shirdi- Shegaon- Pandharpur, it plays a vital role for us to display them on the national platform. I would like to appreciate the efforts made by MoT for bringing information on festivals and religious tourism of all the Indian states under one roof.”