PROVIDING a special area on the shore of Windermere so Hindus can scatter cremated remains of loved ones would help boost Lake District tourism.

That's the view of one Indian family who visited Bowness this week - just a few days after a leading US-based Hindu called for a dedicated facility where devotees of the faith could disperse ashes on the lake.

Rajan Zed, who declared Windermere to be as holy as the River Ganges, suggested the Lake District National Park Authority should allow the installation of an altar-style platform and gazebo on the Windermere shore, complete with an access road, where Hindus could carry out their rites.

The idea was enthusiastically supported by the Modha family who travelled to the Lakes earlier this week from Northamptonshire.

Originally from Gujarat, the most western state of India, the Modhas agreed that Windermere was a holy place for Hindus.

Raj Modha said: "Such a special facility would certainly be welcome by Hindus. It would encourage them to travel to Windermere in greater numbers and more frequently."

Mr Modha said Hindus often flew to India with their loved ones' cremated remains for scattering on holy waters.

"I'm sure more would do this in England if a special area was created here at Windermere," he said.

However, Mr Zed's proposal has been met with a mixed response since it was first revealed in last week's Westmorland Gazette.

Also visiting Windermere was Ernest and Christine Stoddard from Stalybridge, who said they were 'not sure' it was as good idea.

"I wouldn't be keen to see a special structure built," Christine said. "I'm sure a lot of local people will be concerned about that."

Janet and John Jones, on a trip from Nottinghamshire with their pet dog Leo, also expressed concern.

"For me it's not about Hindus," said Janet. "I don't think anyone should be scattering ashes in Windermere, whatever their religion."

The story provoked a lively debate on the Gazette's website.