Print Edition - 2017-01-18 | MONEY
Tilaurakot hosted over 36k tourists in 2016
Jan 18, 2017-
Tilaurakot in Kapilvastu recorded a significant jump in tourist arrivals in 2016, after a disastrous 2015 that was marked by months long Tarai unrest and earthquakes.
Last year, tourists from 60 countries visited the holy place. According to Lumbini Development Trust, 36,471 tourists visited Tilaurakot—2,632 Nepalis, 948 Indians and 32,891 from third countries. Compared to 2015 figures, the pilgrimage destination received around 11,000 more tourists in 2016.
“For the past five years,
foreign archaeologists have been conducting research in Tilaurakot, which helped boost tourist numbers,” said Sanjay Sharma, security chief of Tilaurakot unit, under Lumbini Development Trust.
More than 80 percent of the tourists come for religious and spiritual purpose in Tilaurakot. “The area can attract more tourists if promotional events are organised,” said Sharma.
Sri Lanka is the major source market, followed by Thailand. Besides, Tilaurakot gets
tourists from countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and South Korea.
Japanese arrivals have been declining for the past two years, but those from China have jumped significantly.
Tourists from the UK, France and the Netherlands also visit this historic site. “This is a positive sign for Tilaurakot which was ignored for years. Now, tourism is on the rise,” said Amrit Chandra Thakur, a civil society member. “However, it lacks basic infrastructure to draw a large number of visitors.”
There is a belief among followers of Buddhism that they must step on the soil of Tilaurakot once in a lifetime. “So the followers do their bit to visit Tilaurakot once,” said Krishna Bahadur KC, chief archaeology officer of Lumbini Development Trust.
Tilaurakot is known as a place where Gautam Buddha had 29 lives and life-activity, also known as royalty of his father King Suddhodhan.
Likewise, this place has Niglihawa and Gotihawa pillars built by emperor Ashoka, and Nirodhgram where Buddha acquired knowledge and returned back to the capital to see his parents. More than 100 sites of historical and archaeological importance related to Buddha are located here.
Published: 18-01-2017 09:39