Pilgrimage or Tirtha Yatra: A Significant Cultural and Spiritual Experience for Senior Citizens


Odisha Tourism Travel Scheme Manangement System : BARISTHA NAGARIKA TIRTHA YATRA YOJANA

Pilgrimage, or Tirtha Yatra in Indian culture, is a journey to a sacred place with the intention of spiritual growth and purification. It is a significant cultural and spiritual experience for people of all faiths and ages, but it is especially meaningful for senior citizens.

For senior citizens, pilgrimage can offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Spiritual fulfillment: Pilgrimage can be a deeply spiritual experience for senior citizens, providing them with an opportunity to connect with their faith and beliefs. It can also help them to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
  • Physical and mental health benefits: Pilgrimage can also be beneficial for senior citizens’ physical and mental health. The act of walking or traveling to a sacred place can help to improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and boost mood.
  • Social interaction and connection: Pilgrimage can also be a social experience, providing senior citizens with an opportunity to meet and connect with other people of faith. This can be especially important for senior citizens who live alone or who are isolated from their families.

In recognition of the importance of pilgrimage for senior citizens, the Odisha government offers a pilgrimage assistance program called the Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana (BNTYY). This scheme is offered to senior citizens over the age of 60 to 75 years, regardless of their region or faith. Under the scheme, senior citizens are provided with financial assistance to cover the cost of travel, accommodation, and food. They are also provided with travel arrangements and assistance with accommodation booking.

The BNTYY is a great opportunity for senior citizens to realize their lifelong dream of undertaking a pilgrimage. It is also a way for the Odisha government to support senior citizens and promote cultural and religious tourism.

Here are some of the benefits of the BNTYY for senior citizens:

  • Affordability: The BNTYY makes pilgrimage affordable for senior citizens, even those who are on a fixed income.
  • Convenience: The scheme takes care of all travel arrangements, including transportation, accommodation, and food. This makes it easy for senior citizens to plan and undertake a pilgrimage.
  • Safety and security: The scheme provides senior citizens with assistance and support throughout their pilgrimage. This ensures that they have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana (BNTYY) Tour Plan Date 2023 to 2024

TripOrigination StationDatePlace of VisitDistrictPopulationSeat allottedEscort Officer
1stBerhampur31.10.23 to 05.11.23Kanyakumari – TrivendrumGanjam352903154817
2ndBhubaneswar23.11.23 to 28.11.23Haridwar – RishikeshPuri16987301595
3rdSambalpur06.11.23 to 11.12.23Kolkata – KamakhyaSambalpur10410991124
4thRayagada19.12.23 to 24.12.23Shridi-NasikKoraput13796472106
5thBalasore05.01.24 to 10.01.24Ujjain – OmkareswarBalasore23205292267
6thBerhampur17.01.24 to 22.01.24Varanasi – PrayagrajGanjam352903154817
7thRayagada28.01.24 to 02.02.24Gaya-VaranasiKoraput13796472106
8thBhubaneswar08.02.24 to 13.02.24Tirupati-vellorePuri16987301586
9thSambalpur19.02.24 to 24.02.24Ajmer-PushkarSambalpur10410991124
10thBalasore02.03.24 to 07.03.24Agra-MathuraBalasore23205292267

Download Complete Notice Official PDF:

To learn more about the BNTYY and to apply, please visit the official website at https://yatra.odisha.gov.in/.”

Remember: Please upload a clear and visible document or your application will be rejected.

If you are a senior citizen and are interested in participating in the Tirtha Darshan Yojana, please contact your local State Tourism Department for more information.

People Also Ask:

Question: Who is eligible for Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana?

To be eligible for the Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana, you must meet the following criteria:


  • Be between 60 and 75 years of age.
  • Exception: In the case of a married couple applying jointly, one spouse can be younger than 60 years old.


  • Be a permanent resident of Odisha.


  • Have the necessary fitness to undertake the pilgrimage journey.
  • Not be suffering from any communicable disease.


  • BPL cardholders: If you have a BPL card (Below Poverty Line), you are eligible for 100% concession on the travel cost under the scheme.
  • Non-BPL cardholders:
    • If you are not a BPL cardholder and an income tax payer, you are not eligible for any concession under the scheme.
    • If you are not a BPL cardholder but not an income tax payer:
      • Between 60 and 70 years old: You will receive a 50% concession on the travel cost.
      • Above 70 years old: You will receive a 75% concession on the travel cost.


  • If you are above 70 years old, you can be accompanied by an attendant who must be over 18 years old.
  • The attendant’s application must be submitted jointly with yours.
  • The attendant will need to pay 50% of the travel cost.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

Question: What is the government pilgrimage scheme in Odisha?

There are actually two main government pilgrimage schemes in Odisha, both aimed at different demographics:

1. Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana (BNTYY):

  • This scheme is specifically for senior citizens aged 60 to 75 years (with some exceptions for married couples).
  • It offers subsidized pilgrimage tours to various religious sites across India, including Puri, Konark, Shirdi, Mathura, Varanasi, and Haridwar.
  • The scheme covers travel costs, accommodation, meals, and sightseeing.
  • BPL cardholders get 100% concession, while others get varying levels of concession based on age and income tax status.

2. Scheme for Assistance to Economically Weaker Section for Undertaking Tirtha Yatra:

  • This scheme is broader and targets economically weaker sections of all ages.
  • It provides financial assistance for pilgrimage trips within India, but primarily focuses on Puri and Konark.
  • The scheme offers reimbursement of travel expenses and a fixed amount for accommodation and meals.
  • The amount of assistance depends on the distance to the pilgrimage site and the pilgrim’s family income.

It’s important to note that details like eligibility criteria, application process, and benefits may vary slightly between these two schemes. Therefore, it’s best to choose the scheme that best fits your age, income, and destination preferences.

Here are some helpful resources for you to learn more about each scheme:

Question: How can I get senior citizen card online in Odisha?

Currently, there is no option to apply for a senior citizen card online in Odisha. The process still requires an offline visit to the relevant authorities. However, there are two main approaches you can take:

1. Through your local Tehsildar’s office:

  • Visit your nearest Tehsildar’s office or Revenue Inspector’s office.
  • Obtain the application form for a “Senior Citizen Identity Card” or “Age Proof Certificate.”
  • Fill out the form with your details and attach required documents like:
    • Proof of address (voter ID, Aadhaar card, utility bill)
    • Proof of date of birth (birth certificate, school leaving certificate, passport)
    • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Submit the completed form and documents to the Tehsildar or Revenue Inspector.
  • Pay the applicable fee.
  • Collect your senior citizen card within a few days or as per the office timeline.

2. Through Seva Mitra kiosks:

  • Locate a Seva Mitra kiosk near you. These kiosks are often available in public offices, government buildings, and designated locations.
  • Select the option for “Senior Citizen Identity Card” or “Age Proof Certificate.”
  • Enter your details and upload scanned copies of the required documents.
  • Pay the applicable fee through the kiosk.
  • Submit the application.
  • The card will be printed and delivered to your address or you can collect it from the kiosk within a few days.

Here are some additional resources that might be helpful:

While the process is currently offline, remember that the Odisha government is actively pushing for digitization of citizen services. Therefore, online application for senior citizen cards might become a reality in the near future.

Question: Is senior citizen card free?

Yes, applying for a senior citizen card in Odisha is generally free of charge. This applies to both methods mentioned previously:

  1. Through the Tehsildar’s office or Revenue Inspector’s office: You only need to pay for any photocopies or transportation costs you might incur, but there are no official fees associated with the application itself.
  2. Through Seva Mitra kiosks: Similar to the previous method, there are no official application fees. While some kiosks might charge a minimal service fee for using their platform, it’s usually negligible.

Therefore, you can be assured that getting your senior citizen card in Odisha won’t involve any significant financial burden.

Remember, this applies specifically to the “Senior Citizen Identity Card” or “Age Proof Certificate” issued by the government. Some private organizations might offer different types of senior citizen cards with associated fees, so it’s always best to clarify before applying.

Question: What is the proof of senior citizen?

Proof of senior citizen status can vary depending on the context and purpose for which it’s required. Here are some common types of documents accepted as proof of senior citizen status in India:

Government-issued documents:

  • Senior Citizen Identity Card: This dedicated card issued by the government is the most definitive proof of senior citizen status. It mentions your name, date of birth, address, and photograph.
  • Age Proof Certificate: This certificate issued by the Tehsildar’s office or other authorized government authorities validates your date of birth and confirms your age exceeding the senior citizen threshold (usually 60 years in India).
  • Voter ID Card: While not specifically a senior citizen document, your voter ID card might mention your date of birth, making it acceptable proof in some situations.
  • Aadhaar Card: Similar to the voter ID, your Aadhaar card contains your date of birth and can be used as proof for certain purposes.
  • Pension Payment Order: For retired individuals, their pension payment order issued by the relevant authority validates their senior citizen status.

Other acceptable documents:

  • Birth Certificate: An original or certified copy of your birth certificate is considered reliable proof of date of birth and therefore acceptable for senior citizen verification.
  • School Leaving Certificate: For older individuals without birth certificates, their school leaving certificate mentioning their birth year can serve as proof.
  • Passport: A valid passport also contains your date of birth and can be used as proof of senior citizen status.
  • Bank Passbook with Photograph: Some banks include your date of birth in their passbooks, making them acceptable proof in specific situations.

Question: Can I open senior citizen scheme online?

Unfortunately, opening a senior citizen scheme online is not generally possible in India, including Odisha. Most schemes, such as the popular Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS), require visiting a bank branch or post office in person to complete the application process. This includes filling out physical forms, submitting KYC documents, and potentially signing contracts with witnesses.

However, there are some possible exceptions and developments to consider:

1. Limited online options:

  • Some banks might offer partial online functionalities for existing SCSS account holders, such as viewing account details or initiating transactions. However, opening a new account typically requires offline procedures.
  • Certain platforms may provide online application forms for downloading and printing, but final submission still involves physically visiting a bank or post office.

2. Future possibilities:

  • The Indian government is actively pushing for digitization of citizen services, and online application for senior citizen schemes might become a reality in the future.
  • Some private pension or investment products aimed at senior citizens might offer online enrollment options, though these wouldn’t be government-backed schemes like the SCSS.

3. Alternatives to online application:

  • Seva Mitra kiosks: In Odisha, you can use Seva Mitra kiosks in public offices or designated locations to access government services like applying for the “Senior Citizen Identity Card” or “Age Proof Certificate” which act as proof of eligibility for schemes like the SCSS.
  • Assistance from bank representatives: Some banks might offer assistance to senior citizens, including helping them fill out forms and submit documents, even if the process itself still happens offline.

Overall, while online application for senior citizen schemes is not yet widely available in India, there are ongoing developments and alternative options to consider. I recommend contacting your preferred bank or the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for the latest information and updates.


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