As offered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nepal is now seeking linkages with the Buddhist circuit in India to promote Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini to international tourists.
At present, not many of the Buddhist tourists who visit India come to Lumbini in Nepal or spend just a few hours in the Himalayan nation. Nepal wants to change the trend with India’s help.
During his Nepal trip in August, Modi had offered Indian assistance for development of Lumbini including linking it with Buddhist circuit in India, based on specific proposals from Nepal.
A Nepali delegation left for India on Thursday to take part in the 4th International Buddhist Conclave to be held at Bodhgaya and Sarnath and explore possibilities of promoting Lumbini.
Organised by the Indian ministry of tourism the conclave seeks to devise new business strategies for marketing Indian Buddhist heritage together with similar sites in Nepal.
Buddha was born at Lumbini in Nepal, attained enlightenment at Bodhgaya, delivered his first sermon at Sarnath and passed away at Kushinagar.
Besides Lumbini Nepal also hopes to attract more international tourists to other sites connected with life of Buddha like Ram Gram, Kapilavastu, Niglihawa, Kudan and Gotihawa.
The Nepali delegation will hold discussions with Indian officials and both Indian and international tour operators to bring in more pilgrims and tourists and also try to make them spend more time.
The Buddhist circuit, which connects all the important places in Buddha’s life, is important for over 550 million Buddhists across the globe. At present India and Nepal have been able to attract only a fraction of that number.