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Nepal floats Trans-Himalayan Buddhist Circuit

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 14, 2018-

While India has been working on an ambitious “billion dollars” plan to develop and promote the Buddhist Circuit in India with the involvement of the World Bank, Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari on Tuesday floated a new idea with China: to develop the Trans-Himalayan Buddhist Circuit.

According to Ghanshyam Upadhyaya, spokesperson of the Tourism Ministry, Nepal has proposed China that Trans-Himalayan Buddhist Circuit can be established jointly. “It’s a concept. There are no concrete details on it yet,” he said.

As Nepal’s second international airport in Lumbini—the birthplace of Buddha, is expected to come into operation by the end of 2019, the government has been eying to promote Buddhist pilgrimage in a big way. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, the Buddhist Circuit is an important pilgrimage destination for the 450 million practicing Buddhists as well as travelers interested in history, culture or religion.

The IFC report said that there are about 450 to 480 million Buddhists across the world. They practice different branches of Buddhism: Mahayana Buddhism, including East Asian Buddhism, with 185 million followers. This is the predominant form of Buddhism practiced in China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Theravada Buddhism, with over 125 million followers, is the form of Buddhism predominantly practiced in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India.  

Vajrayana Buddhism has approximately 20 million followers. This form is practiced in the greater Tibetan and Mongolian regions, the Himalayas, Bhutan, parts of western China, the Russian Federation, and Nepal.

The report said that the rationale for investing in the Buddhist Circuit by India is to improve the experience of visiting these sites and link that to the potential of tourism to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth through job creation and income generation opportunities. (PR)

Published: 14-11-2018 09:22

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