Vrindavan, 2017.07.19 (VT): The state government of Uttar Pradesh under Yogi Adityanath is preparing to create a Krishna theme park in Mathura along the lines of Disneyland. The park will recreate the different sites of Krishna’s life story, including the jail where Devki and Vasudev were imprisoned, and an artificial Yamuna River.
“Why should pilgrims visit the ancient temples of Vrindavan, when they can visit fake, plastic versions of the exact same places at “Krishna Land”? Why bother cleaning Yamuna Maharani when you can just make an artificial version of the river, put a wall around it, and charge admission?” said Vrindavan resident Raman Bihariji.
Disney’s Epcot Center offers park visitors a taste of different cultures from around the world, but Krishna Land may be the first theme park to offer a taste of a city within that same city. Imagine a New York Land with a lifesize Statue of Liberty, replica Hudson River and Empire State Building… in midtown Manhattan.
Whether or not the park will feature actors in Radha and Krishna costumes on the lines of Mickey and Minnie Mouse remains to be seen.
The project is being decried as frivolous in a place where solid waste managment and sewage treatment systems are almost nil. The state government, however, is moving full speed ahead, hoping to bring more tourists to the area. Officials have reportedly been asked to create a full plan for the project, with construction slated to begin later this year.
Officials say that tourist packages will be offered so that people can stay overnight within the boundaries of “Krishna Land”, enjoying a high level of security and all the comforts of home.
But local residents are skeptical as to whether the park will help or harm the local economy.
“They are making our living tradition into a museum; I am absolutely shocked.” said Ram Das, a resident of Ramanreti. “I do have great hopes for the Yogi government, but this makes me question, are they really thinking of the welfare of Vrindavan and the Brajwasis?”