Published on : Tuesday, May 31, 2016
The Buddhist circuit will be India’s first trans-national tourist circuit. The map of the Buddhist circuit as envisaged by India’s Tourism & Culture Minister comprises Bodh Gaya, Vaishali, Rajgir and Kushinagar in Bihar, Sarnath, and Shravasti in UP, along with Kapilavastu and Lumbini in Nepal where Buddha was born.
The ministry has already taken the Buddhist circuit under its Swadesh Darshan scheme, and released funds of Rs 100 crore.
Meanwhile, talks are on with private players to come up with hotels around the sites and the World Bank to invest in infrastructure.
The effort to promote Buddhist circuit comes ahead of polls in UP, home to many sites in these two circuits.
The effort will promote tourism in Nepal and Sri Lanka alongside that in India, with sites in the Buddhist circuit as well as the Ramayana circuit spanning the other two countries.
“It is surprising that while Buddhism originated in India and seven of the eight main Buddhist pilgrimage sites are in India, our country gets not even one per cent of Buddhist pilgrims in the world,” Tourism & Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma told The Indian Express.
“Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia and Thailand are getting a major chunk of Buddhism-related tourists while India lags behind, mostly due to a lack of infrastructure and awareness.”
The Ministry plans to offer world-class facilities and lure many of these tourists to India.