• India commits to develop Buddhist Tourism , identifies three circuits

    Ramesh Tiwari
    February 17, 2014
    India commits to develop Buddhist Tourism , identifies three circuits

    New Delhi : The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has identified integrated tourism circuits based on India’s unique civilization, heritage, and culture including Buddhist Tourism in partnership with States, the private sector and other agencies.

    The Ministry of Tourism has identified following three circuits to be developed as Buddhist Circuits in the country with the help of Central Government/State Government/Private stake holders:

    Circuit 1: The Dharmayatra or the Sacred Circuit – This will be a 5 to 7 days circuit and will include visits to Gaya (Bodhgaya), Varanasi (Sarnath), Kushinagar, Piparva (Kapilvastu) with a day trip to Lumbini in Nepal.

    Circuit 2: Extended Dharmayatra or Extended Sacred Circuit or Retracing Buddha’s Footsteps – This will be a 10 to 15 day circuit and will include visits to Bodhgaya (Nalanda, Rajgir, Barabar caves, Pragbodhi Hill, Gaya), Patna (Vaishali, Lauriya Nandangarh, Lauriya Areraj, Kesariya, Patna Museum), Varanasi (Sarnath), Kushinagar, Piparva (Kapilvastu, Shravasti, Sankisa) with a day trip to Lumbini in Nepal.

    Circuit 3: Buddhist Heritage Trails (State Circuits).
    i Jammu and Kashmir – Ladakh, Srinagar (Harwan, Parihaspora) and Jammu (Ambaran).
    ii. Himachal Pradesh – Dharamshala, Spiti, Kinnaur and Lahaul.
    iii. Punjab – Sanghon.
    iv. Haryana – Jind (Assan), Yamunanagar(Sugh).
    v. Maharashtra -Aurangabad (Ajanta, Ellora, Pithalkora Caves), Pune (Karla Caves), Mumbai (Kanheri Caves), Pune (Bhaja Caves) and Nashik (Pandavleni caves).
    vi. Andhra Pradesh – Amravati, Nagarjunakonda, Vizag (Borra Caves, Salihundum Caves).
    vii. Madhya Pradesh – Sanchi, Satdhara, Andher, Sonari, Murulkurd.
    viii. Odisha (Dhauli, Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, Udaygiri, Langudi, Khandagiri).
    ix. Chhattisgarh – Sirpur.
    x. West Bengal – Kolkata (Indian Museum)
    xi. Sikkim – Rumtek, Enchay and other Monasteries.
    xii. Arunachal Pradesh –Tawang and Bomdila.

    While identifying the designated circuits, efforts have been made to plug infrastructure gaps viz- rail/road linkages and provide better amenities to tourists.

    The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for tourism projects, including projects for Buddhist sites, based on the proposals received from State Governments/UT Administrations which are complete in all respects as per the Scheme Guidelines, inter-se priority and subject to availability of funds. The development, promotion and implementation of tourism projects, is primarily the responsibility of the respective State Government/Union Territory Administration (UT).

    A loan agreement for an amount equivalent to Japanese Yen 7331 million was signed in the year 2003 with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Phase II of Ajanta Ellora Conservation and Tourism Development Project. The validity of this loan period has been extended till July 2014.

    The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the Departments of Tourism of the Governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) have entered into an agreement to cooperate in upgrading the quality of services and goods provided for tourists along the Buddhist Circuits in UP and Bihar.

    Under this agreement, the signatories are designing a strategy aimed at a broader integrated Buddhist Circuit Tourism Development Project, for both Buddhist pilgrims and those wishing to experience the essence of Buddhist heritage. To showcase India’s advantage in having several Buddhist sites and to make a new initiative in the emerging area of spiritual tourism, Ministry of Tourism regularly organizes Buddhist Conclaves and Conferences. 

    This information was given by the Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha recently . – PIB / INDIA

    Feb 11, 2014

    • Connecting you with the world of travel and tourism

      News Brief

      Kabul: Afghan security forces have regained control of Intercontinental Hotel, hours after the gunmen burst into the hotel shooting at guests and staff. At least five civilians were killed and six were injured in the siege. Three of the attackers have been killed and more than 150 guests were rescued. No group has said it carried out the attack, but the Taliban targeted the Intercontinental hotel in 2011.

      Beijing: China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017 according to official data – the first time in seven years the pace of growth has picked up. The figure beats Beijing’s official annual expansion target of about 6.5%. Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 82.71 trillion yuan (about 12.84 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.

      Shanghai: China Eastern Airlines and other domestic airlines have begun to allow mobile phone use on their aircraft or announced plans to lift a ban. China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines began to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED), such as smartphones and tablets.China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines announced they would allow mobile phone use on all their flights this week. – Agencies

      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

      Wildlife in Chitawan , Nepal

      Window of Nepal Tourism

      http://www.nepaltournews.com/