Nepal, India agree to commence Ramayan and Buddha circuits, sign 14-point agreement
Ramesh Lamsal and CB Adhikari, KATHMANDU: Nepal and India are to launch planned initiative to promote tourism in the Ramayan and Buddha circuits. Religious tourism has been put in priority on these circuits in a bid to boost tourism, thereby building a base for economic prosperity in both countries.
The circuits bear the mobility of huge number of people having religious faith. Along with the promotion of tourism, the cooperation on information, physical infrastructures and road expansion would be continued.
A meeting of the joint taskforce formed between the two countries to this regard took this decision here Friday, signing 14-point agreement, said the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had shed light the importance of the Ramayan circuit during his recent visit in Nepal. During the two day visit, prime ministers from both Nepal and India had jointly launched the bus service in the Ramayan circuit.
The Ramayan circuit connects the people around the religious sites of the Ramayan period from both countries where Nepal’s Janakpur also belongs. But, India has planned to link its 15 such sites in this circuit.
The religious sites of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, where Lord Ram and Sita were believed to have reached in Terta era, will be connected through the Ramayana Circuit.
It connects through Janakpur of Nepal, Ayodhya, Shringawerpur, Chitrakut, Sitamadhi of Bihar, Bakar and Darbhanga, Nandigram of Western Bengal, Mahendragiri of Udisa, Jagadalpur of Chhatisgadh, Bhadrachalam of Telangana, Ramesworam of Tamilnadu, Humpy of Karnataka and Nasik and Nagpur of Maharastra of India.
It is believed that the circuit would be spectacular for Nepal when the circuit has also connected Sita’s maternal home and Ram’s in-laws’ house, Janakpurdham.
Though Sri Lanka has not been linked through the circuit right now, preparation are underway to establish connection among all three countries.
Likewise, the Buddha Circuit will link Tilaurakot, Ramgram, Gotihawa, Niglihawa, Namobuddha, halesi, Bouddhanath and Soyambhu among others while keeping Lumbini at the centre.
India has been running Buddha circuit in around 700 kms linking Sarnath, Kusinagar and Shrawasti, among others putting Bodgaya at the centre. The circuits of both the countries will be connected each others once agreement to this effect was made from both sides.
As per the bilateral agreement, actions would be forwarded in a planned manner for the tourism promotion in which the Indian government has agreed to incorporate Nepal as a destination for visit in the package that it provides to its government officials.
Similarly, the Nepali vehicles would get an easy entry in India equal to the Indian vehicles enjoying in Nepal. For the approval to grant, the Indian side would advance necessary processes.
Construction of roads and bridges linking the two countries would be expedited while the private sectors of both the countries would market and promote Ramayana circuit, Buddhist circuit and adventurous tourism.
Furthermore, India would help establish Mithila Museum in Janakpur meant for promotion of religious and cultural tourism.
Likewise, Nepali citizens would get permission to climb Indian peaks in an easy manner as per the demand of Nepal.
As processes are underway to establish tourism university in Nepal, bilateral exchanges would be done for the educational programmes and practical classes in order to develop quality human resources in tourism.
As per the agreement, Indo-Nepal tourism forum would be formed for bilateral tourism potentials, promotion and marketing and carry out other activities for the cause.
Nepal has proposed to jointly construct a gate at Sunauli-Belhiya, Nepal-India border aimed at promoting the Buddhist philosophy.
The Ministry has expected that the gate in Indo-Nepal border will promote bringing in foreign visitors in the country as Nepal was preparing to mark ‘Nepal Visit Year in 2020.’
The second meeting was led by joint secretary at the Culture Ministry of Nepal Ghanashyam Upadhyay and Joint Secretary at the Tourism Ministry of India Suman Billa.
The meeting also held discussions on the issues of expanding the aviation network between Lumbini and different Indian cities.
Following the meeting, Joint Secretary Upadhyay told RSS that the meeting of joint taskforce was held with an objective of bringing foreign tourists in Nepal.
Published Date: Friday, July 6th, 2018 | 09:49 PM