INDIA. New Delhi: Minister of State for Tourism & Defence, Shri Ajay Bhatt flagged off the Buddhist Circuit special Train from Safdarjung Railway Station, Delhi recently. To tap the potential of the Buddhist tourism, the Ministry of Tourism has organised a Buddhist Circuit Train FAM Tour and conference scheduled from 4 – 8 October 2021. The flag off ceremony was attended by the senior officials of the Ministry of Tourism, IRCTC, and other industry stakeholders. The guests were welcomed by the IRCTC officials with great endeavour.
Sh. Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Tourism & Defence addressed the media at Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station prior to flagging off the journey ‘Buddhist Circuit Train FAM Tour and Conference’ by discussing the importance of touring Indian destinations first before experiencing the global destinations as we’ve such great heritage like the Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train which covers the destinations Gaya-Bodhgaya, Rajgir-Nalanda in Bihar as well as Sarnath-Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The Minister focused on the importance of domestic tourism for encapsulating the true spirit of the campaign ‘Dekho Apna Desh’.
The FAM tour is from Delhi to Delhi covering the visit of prominent Buddhism sites and conferences at Bodhgaya and Varanasi. The event is likely to be attended by around 125 delegates including tour operators, hoteliers, media and officials of Ministry of Tourism & State Governments. Apart from this, around 100 local tour operators and other stakeholders of tourism & hospitality sector would be attending the event at Bodhgaya and Varanasi to discuss the key issues with regard to the development and promotion of tourism in the circuit.
Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with various Central ministries and State governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is developing Buddhist circuit across the Buddhism destinations in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The major verticals of developments under the Buddhist circuit are Connectivity, Infrastructure and logistics, Cultural research, Heritage & Education, Public awareness, Communication & Outreach. Under the above mentioned verticals, major interventions being undertaken are development of international airports at Kushinagar & Shravasti, operationalisation of RCS UDAN routes connecting Buddhist destinations, Development of Gaya Railway station, Construction of National and state highways connecting Buddhism destinations, Development of Bodh Gaya under Iconic sites and Swadesh Darshan scheme, development of museums and heritage centre at Buddhist destinations, digitisation and preservation of manuscripts at Buddhist Tibetan institutes, development of courses on Buddhism etc. Under Public awareness, communication and outreach vertical, there are interventions planned for promotion of Buddhist sites and heritage in India like development of virtual gallery on shared Buddhist heritage at National Museum, creation of annual calendar of events, Buddhism media campaign in key source markets, Buddhist conclave etc.