Hastinapur town of the district which has its mention in the Mahabharata period has been given a special allocation in the Union Budget and would be developed as an “Iconic site” of the country.

Five sites of the country, including Hastinapur, would be developed as Iconic sites to encourage tourism. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget in the Parliament on Saturday made an announcement in this regard.

Hastinapur was considered once a bustling town during the Mahabharata period. In 1951, famous archeologist Dr B Lal had done excavation in Hastinapur where some ancient remains were recovered. Dr Lal in his report had claimed that Hastinapur town dates back to the Harrappan culture. Besides having historical importance it also has religious significance. It is an important pilgrimage of the Jain Community and the land of Bhai Dharam Singh, one of the Panj Pyaras of Sikh Guru Gobind Singhji and in his native village Saifpur in Hastinapur there is a big Gurudwara where people from the community come from different parts of the world. Also, the place has a good biodiversity, a wildlife sanctuary named after Hastinapur known for wildlife like swamp deer, pythons, ghariyals, Gangetic dolphins, turtles etc.

The foundation of Hastinapur was laid down on February 7, 1949 by Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru along with that of Chandigarh. Here, the partition refugees were settled but the town lacks development till now. The area had been demanding for development of this place since a long time but it has been overlooked. Now this announcement has brought happiness to the people of the area.

Dr KK Sharma, who is known for his research paper “Hastinapur- a Historical City” had mentioned city`s significance in his book History and Culture of Hastinapur. Reacting on this development Dr Sharma said that this announcement of union government could be a turning point for Hastinapur and the entire region. He said that a Mahabharata circuit could be developed in the area and also a museum like the one in Kurukshetra.

There are some places named after Mahabharata characters in Hastinapur like Vidur Ka Tila, Karna Temple, Karna Ghat, Pandu Temple, etc. besides the excavated site.