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Bihar's Buddhist circuit to get a big tourism boost

Last updated on: January 23, 2012 22:16 IST

Bihar's Buddhist circuit to get a big tourism boost

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M I Khan in Patna

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has ordered to prepare a fresh mega project to develop its World famous Buddhist circuit to attract tourists.

An official in chief minister's office said that Nitish Kumar has asked concerned officials to go ahead to develop the Buddhist circuit in the state. "He also directed to identify undiscovered places associated with Buddha in this Buddhist circuit" officials said.


Image: A pilgrim walks under Lord Buddha's holy tree at the Mahabodhi temple compound in the eastern Indian city of Bodh Gaya January 23, 2008. Tales of corruption, looting and religious rivalry are swirling around the spot where Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment in eastern India some 2,500 years ago, sullying one of Buddhism's holiest sites.
Photographs: Desmond Boylan/Reuters

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A team of experts would be constituted to study and identify undiscovered places associated with Buddha. "All these places would be developed," the officials said.

The Buddhist circuit of Bihar comprises shrines in Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Vaishali and Kesaria.


Image: A garlanded idol of Lord Buddha is seen at the Mahabodhi temple compound, in the eastern Indian city of Bodh Gaya January 23, 2008. Tales of corruption, looting and religious rivalry are swirling around the spot where Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment in eastern India some 2,500 years ago, sullying one of Buddhism's holiest sites. Picture taken January 23, 2008.
Photographs: Desmond Boylan/Reuters

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Nitish Kumar's ambitious plans for developing the Buddhist circuit include world class road networks, construction of modern budget and higher-end hotels, facilitating direct rail links and air services to Bodh Gaya, Rajgir and Vaishali.

"The main focus will be to link Bodh Gaya, the seat of Buddha's enlightenment, to other historic sites related to his life. To begin with, the roads from Bodh Gaya to Rajgir to Nalanda to Vaishali will be world class," an official said.


Image: Tourists at Nalanda
Photographs: Seema Pant/Rediff.com

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A day ago, Nitish Kumar during his viit to Rajgir in Nalanda district, one of the oldest destination of Buddhist circuit after Bodh Gaya in Gaya district, announced to install a big Buddha statue in the middle of Ghorakatora Dam, which is surrounded by hills from three sides.

Besides Buddha, statues of his first four disciples Sariputra, Anand, Mahamoglayan and Mahakashyap will be also installed in the dam.


Image: Devotees pray in front of a monument in Sarnath in northern India during a three-day Buddhist festival on November 6. The annual festival started on Thursday in Sarnath and Bodh Gaya, where Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment. It is aimed at attracting Buddhist tourists to Sarnath, where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon some 2,500 years ago.
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters

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The Statue is now a symbol of the holy place Bodhgaya, next to Mahabohdi Temple which is a World Heritage site, and enjoys constant visits of pilgrims from all over the world. Among local people, it is nicknamed "the 80-foot (25-meter) Buddha Statue.


Image: An idol of Lord Buddha is seen at the Mahabodhi temple compound, in the eastern Indian city of Bodh Gaya January 23, 2008. Tales of corruption, looting and religious rivalry are swirling around the spot where Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment in eastern India some 2,500 years ago, sullying one of Buddhism's holiest sites. Picture taken January 23, 2008.
Photographs: Desmond Boylan/Reuters

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He said that an international consultant would be hired to built the statute and finalise the size of statute and location to install it.

Earlier, a Great Buddha Statue was installed on November 18, 1989 at Bodh Gaya.


Image: Japanese Buddhist monks offer prayers at Viswa Shanti Stupa or world Peace Pagoda to celebrate its 35th anniversary in Rajgir, 105 Km (65 miles) southeast of the eastern Indian city of Patna October 25, 2004. Hundreds of monks mainly from Japan offered prayer ceremony to mark the 35th anniversary of peace pagoda in Rajgir on Monday.
Photographs: Ravi S Sahani/Reuters

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