Uttar Pradesh hosts Bodhi Yatra conclave to boost Buddhist tourism

Spanning Sarnath, Kushinagar and other locations, Uttar Pradesh’s recent conclave focused on spiritual heritage and the Buddhist circuit’s tourism potential.
Uttar Pradesh hosts Bodhi Yatra conclave to boost Buddhist tourism

Uttar Pradesh recently hosted the Bodhi Yatra conclave and the event featured a cultural show depicting the life of Lord Buddha, aiming to strengthen the spiritual and cultural connections with Southeast Asia — promoting cultural diplomacy and encouraging Foreign Direct Investment in the state’s tourism sector. Ambassadors from Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, Japan, Indonesia, Argentina, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam were present, along with members of the International Buddhist Council, academicians, representatives from national and international organisations, bureaucrats, travel writers and even bloggers.

Key officials at the event included Union Tourism Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Uttar Pradesh Tourism and Culture Minister Jaiveer Singh, Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism V Vidyavati, Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh Durga Shankar Mishra, Principal Secretary of Tourism and Culture Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Special Secretary of Tourism Eesha Priya, Director General of IBC Abhijit Haldar and Former Deputy Speaker of CTA Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok.

The event commenced with a presentation by Eesha Priya, showcasing Uttar Pradesh’s six major Buddhist sites: Sankisa, Sarnath, Shravasti, Kapilvastu, Kaushambi and Kushinagar. Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra followed with a speech, emphasising the event’s goal of strengthening spiritual and cultural connections with Southeast Asia, promoting cultural diplomacy and encouraging Foreign Direct Investment in the state’s tourism sector. He mentioned the allocation of land in Varanasi for Bhutan’s temple and guest house projects, inviting other countries to invest in the hospitality and tourism sector.

A roundtable discussion explored initiatives to promote these historical and spiritual sites, focusing on attracting foreign tourists. Union Tourism Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat praised Uttar Pradesh’s efforts to create tourist circuits, particularly the Buddha Circuit. Uttar Pradesh Tourism and Culture Minister Jaiveer Singh discussed the state’s efforts to develop the Buddhist circuit and attract Buddhist pilgrims from India and abroad. Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra reiterated Uttar Pradesh’s significance in Buddhism, highlighting the state’s initiatives to promote Buddhist sites globally and the development of infrastructure and world-class tourist facilities.

During the event, Secretary of the Union Ministry of Tourism, V Vidyavati, remarked, “Buddha resides in the heart and soul of Uttar Pradesh. The Government of India, in collaboration with the Government of Uttar Pradesh, aims to not only create a memorable experience for the Buddhist pilgrims but also ensure the development and better employment opportunities for the local communities. We are also keen to enhance the infrastructure and amenities of Buddhist Museums in the state as they are a living source of history.”

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