Buddhist tourism gets new push in India

  • mandy
  • 2 Years ago
  • 0  Comments
  • 14  Views
  • (0)
  • story
Buddhist tourism gets new push in India

Related Stories

New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) The Buddhist tourism circuit in India is getting a new fillip with the luxury tourist shuttle, the Mahaparinirvana Express, expanding its run to touch Buddhist sites in Odisha from Jan 20 besides those in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The move is to meet the growing demand by pilgrims, especially from countries like Sri Lanka in South Asia as well East and Southeast Asia, to visit more places associated with the Buddha - Bhubaneswar, Lalitagiri, Khandagiri and Udayagiri.

"The train that begins from Safdarjung in the capital now goes to Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Varanasi, Sarnath, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Lumbini and Sravasti in a seven-night, eight-day odyssey," Harshvardhan Singh Rawat, an official at the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), told IANS.

The train, which was introduced in 2007, has tariffs ranging from Rs.7,500 to Rs.34,000.

Speaking on the margins of the Confederation of India Industry Roundtable on Indian Tourism, the IRCTC official said the government was reconsidering resuming the Chennai Buddhist shuttle that stopped in March this year.

"We will soon put the train from Chennai back on track to cater to the surge of Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka. We are working out the cost of the 21-day, 20-night trip that covers many more places than the Delhi train," the official said.

The Mahaparinirvana Express, on an average, clocks 60 percent occupancy with the bulk of tourists from China, Thailand, Taiwan and other countries in the region. The official said tourists from at least 30 countries opt for train tourism in the Buddhist circuits.

The corporation has tied up with luxury hotels at Bodh Gaya, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur and Lumbini (Nepal) to host the tourists overnight. Now the spotlight is on Odisha, where Buddhist sites had been in the shadow of the popular Puri-Konark Hindu pilgrimage tourism.

The Odisha loop comprising Ratnagiri-Dhaulagiri-Udayagiri-Khandagiri and Langudi dates back to early 6th century BC. The sites are dotted with stupas, chaityas and Ashokan edicts. It is also a seat of the study of Vajrayana Buddhism.

Amiya Pattnaik, vice-chancellor of Utkal University of Culture in Bhubaneswar, who was in the capital to promote the Buddhist circuit, said the state was home to 100 Buddhist sites of which 20 were "very important".

"Ratnagiri can be compared with Nalanda and can even compete with Bodh Gaya," he said.

Ancient Buddhist documents indicate that "Buddha Kesha" (hair relics) were brought to the state by two rich traders, Tapassu and Ballika. Later, the Buddha's teeth were also believed to have been brought to the state.

S.K. Yadav, managing director of Wanderlust Travel, meanwhile said the "hardcover Buddhist tourism circuit should be redefined and diversified".

"Why not give the tourists Ladakh in the package? Not just Buddhist shrines, but tour operators must package the entire destination with out-of-the-box activity like yak safaris. Tour operators need to think about promoting new Buddhist destinations," Yadav said at th CII roundtable.

Sreenivas Rao, managing director of Rao Travels, said of the nearly 400 million Buddhists around the world, around 200,000 (2007 figure)-500,000 people come to India and this should be increased.

"We should look for at least two million. Even if they spend $1,000 per head, it would contribute to over $2 billion to the economy," he noted.

Ravi Luthra, director of Landmark Tours and Travels Pvt Ltd, said that a lot more needs to be done in providing facilities, identifying potential and ensuring law and order.

"Lot of tourist-generating countries that are Buddhist have to be ready to develop infrastructure. Tourist associations like IATO - Indian Association of Tourist Operators - are playing a positive role in promoting Buddhist tourism with special seminars," he said.

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at madhu.c@ians.in)

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow Taaza News on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Source  news.taaza.com
Tags       push india tourism

Related News

Ramayana, Buddhist dance at India's southeast Asian fiesta

Ramayana, Buddhist dance at India's southeast Asian fiesta Ramayana, Buddhist dance at India's southeast Asian fiesta

news.taaza.com: (6 Months ago)

New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) Stories of epic Ramayana narrated through ballet dance, Buddhist sacred dance and chants, different cuisines of India, traditional "mehndi" art, yoga and a film festival -- th... Read more

Submitted by: mahesh

'Fallout of Myanmar strife on Buddhist temples was warned'

'Fallout of Myanmar strife on Buddhist temples was warned' 'Fallout of Myanmar strife on Buddhist temples was warned'

news.taaza.com: (1 Year ago)

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Were intelligence alerts ignored, warning of possible attacks on Buddhist shrines in India by "fringe elements" sympathetic to the cause of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, scores... Read more

Submitted by: ravi

Visa on arrival for Buddhist tourists: Sahai

Visa on arrival for Buddhist tourists: Sahai Visa on arrival for Buddhist tourists: Sahai

news.taaza.com: (2 Years ago)

Varanasi, Sep 29 (IANS) Tourists from countries having a sizeable Buddhist population such as Thailand and Malaysia would be provided visas on arrival, Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said S... Read more

Submitted by: davidR

South-east Asian Buddhist sites to be mapped

South-east Asian Buddhist sites to be mapped South-east Asian Buddhist sites to be mapped

news.taaza.com: (12 Months ago)

Kolkata, Aug 9 (IANS) Historic Buddhist sites across eight south-east Asian nations will be mapped out and compiled into an atlas to boost tourism potential, an official said. In accordance with the... Read more

Submitted by: ajay

US firm to invest $240mn to light up Bihar's Buddhist sites

US firm to invest $240mn to light up Bihar's Buddhist sites US firm to invest $240mn to light up Bihar's Buddhist sites

news.taaza.com: (1 Year ago)

Washington, May 6 (IANS) A power venture formed by Indian and North American energy professionals plans to create a role model for the world by lighting up famed Buddhist sites in Bihar with a $240 m... Read more

Submitted by: aamikal

Muslim group condemns attack on Buddhist temple

Muslim group condemns attack on Buddhist temple Muslim group condemns attack on Buddhist temple

news.taaza.com: (1 Year ago)

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) The All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM), the umbrella body of Muslim organisations, has condemned the terror attack on the Mahabodhi temple in Bihar. AIMMM presiden... Read more

Submitted by: sumit

Sotheby's to auction Buddhist art

Sotheby's to auction Buddhist art Sotheby's to auction Buddhist art

news.taaza.com: (11 Months ago)

New York, Aug 31 (IANS) Pan-Asian Buddhist paintings and sculptures from the ancient regions of China, Japan, Tibet, and Nepal are up for auction at Sotheby's. The works will be on display at the gal... Read more

Submitted by: ajay

New varsity will be tribute to Buddhist revivalist

New varsity will be tribute to Buddhist revivalist New varsity will be tribute to Buddhist revivalist

news.taaza.com: (2 Years ago)

Kolkata, Sep 18 (IANS) A proposed international university Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate in Sanchi Friday will be a tribute to a famed Buddhist revivalist who had great love ... Read more

Submitted by: ravi

Bodh Gaya bombing is a warning, says Buddhist leader

Bodh Gaya bombing is a warning, says Buddhist leader Bodh Gaya bombing is a warning, says Buddhist leader

news.taaza.com: (7 Months ago)

Kathmandu, Dec 15 (IANS) The foremost leader of a Buddhist sect says the Bodh Gaya bombing in India "is a kind of warning" and Buddhists around the world will have to be careful. "Bodh Gaya bombing ... Read more

Submitted by: chandan



Taaza News Subcategories

 

Subscribe to the Latest headlines

 News  Lifestyle  Technology
 Sports  Entertainment

Frequency: