UP Hosts 'Bodhi Yatra' Conclave Across Sarnath, Kushinagar & Other Places

The event included a cultural show depicting the life of Lord Buddha, celebrating Uttar Pradesh's historical and spiritual heritage and the importance of the Buddhist circuit in boosting tourism
Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh
Dhamekh Stupa and ruins in SarnathShutterstock

The event included a cultural show depicting the life of Lord Buddha, celebrating Uttar Pradesh's historical and spiritual heritage and the importance of the Buddhist circuit in boosting tourism. The conclave concluded with felicitations for attendees. Key officials attended the conclave, including 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.

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 bloggers.

The event began with a presentation by Special Secretary 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 welcome speech, highlighting Uttar Pradesh's position as a leading domestic tourist destination and expressing hopes to attract more foreign tourists.

Putting Culture In Centre Stage

Mishra emphasised the event's goal of strengthening spiritual and cultural connections with South Asia and 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 realise the Prime Minister's vision of creating 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.

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