Buddhist Circuit: The Centre has planned a major infrastructure push for Buddhist Circuit.
- The Ministry of Tourism recently organized a “Buddhist Circuit Train FAM Tour and Conference” from October 4 to October 8, 2021 in order to increase the tourism in Buddhist Circuit.
- During the conference major focus was given with regard to the infrastructure development including Air, Rail and Road Connectivity
- A detailed presentation with regard to Buddhist Special Train and facilities being provided by IRCTC in the train which includes Mini Library was given by IRCTC.
- The Buddhist Circuit Train FAM Tour was flagged off by Minister of Tourism Ajay Bhatt.
- This tour has been organized by the Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) as part of the Union government’s “Dekho Apna Desh” initiative.
About FAM Tour:
- The FAM tour is from Delhi to Delhi covering the visit of prominent Buddhist sites and conferences at Bodhgaya and Varanasi.
- The tour will cover the visit of prominent Buddhist sites and conferences at Bodhgaya and Varanasi.
- This conference was attended by 125 delegates including tour operators, media, hoteliers, and officials of Ministry of Tourism & State Governments.
- Around 100 local tour operators and other stakeholders of the tourism & hospitality sector attended the event at Bodh Gaya and Varanasi for discussing the critical issues concerning the event and promotion of tourism within the circuit.
- These promotional activities are undertaken by the Tourism Ministry with an aim to increase awareness about tourist destinations, attractions and products.
About Buddhist Circuit:
The Buddhist circuit is a route that follows in the footsteps of the Buddha from Lumbini in Nepal where he was born, through Bihar in India where he attained enlightenment, to Sarnath and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh in India, where he gave his first teachings and died.
- Buddhist Circuit project was announced in 2016.
- Since then Rs 343 crore has been sanctioned for the project under various schemes, out of which Rs 278 crore has already been released.
- Under ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’, 5 projects worth Rs 325.53 crore has been sanctioned for Buddhist Circuit development in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat.
About Swadesh Darshan Scheme:
- Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a scheme of Ministry of Tourism under Government of India (GoI).
- This Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in 2014-15 to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
- The scheme aims to promote, develop and harness the potential of tourism in India.
- This is a central sector scheme i.e., it is a 100% funded by the Central GoI.
- Efforts are also made to achieve convergence with other schemes of Central and State Governments.
- The funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and Corporate Sector is also used in this scheme.
- Under this scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development.
- Buddhist Circuit,
- North-East India Circuit
- Coastal Circuit
- Wildlife Circuit
- Tribal Circuit
- Rural Circuit
- Himalayan Circuit
- Krishna Circuit
- Desert Circuit
- Eco Circuit
- Spiritual Circuit
- Ramayana Circuit
- Heritage Circuit
Buddhist Tourism in India:
- Tourism has great importance in the economy and cultural development of India.
- It promotes national integration.
- India is among world’s oldest and largest reservoirs of history. India is known for her rich heritage, culture, philosophy, and religion.
- India has a rich ancient Buddhist Heritage comprising of essential sites associated with Lord Buddha.
- This Indian Buddhist heritage is of great interest to the followers of Buddhism all over the world.
- Buddhist Conclave is organized by the Ministry of Tourism every alternate year.
- The main objective of organizing this conclave is to promote India as a Buddhist Destination and major markets worldwide.
- The International Buddhist Conclave for the year 2021 is scheduled from 17 November to 21 November.
About Ministry of Tourism:
- The Ministry of Tourism is a branch of the Government of India (GoI).
- It is the apex body for formulation and administration of the rules, regulations and laws relating to the development and promotion of tourism in India. It was founded in 1967.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- The current Minister of Tourism (India) is Shri G. Kishan Reddy.