Ministry of Tourism has decided to expand Buddhist tourism circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme into 21 more states to make it India’s initial trans-national tourist point.
Earlier it was envisaged only to seven important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar Swadesh Darshan Scheme
The Union Ministry of Tourism had established the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 2014-15 with an aim to come up with theme based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist areas will be created on fundamentals of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.
They will be developed by synergizing attempts to focus on concerns and needs of all stakeholders to improve tourist experience and improve employment opportunities.
- Under this strategy, 13 thematic circuits are identified for growth.
- Now, Ministry of Tourism has identified stupas and viharas in these 21 states, around which small intra-state Buddhist zones will be developed.
- The states now that will be covered comprises Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, West Bengal, Goa, Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir.
- The growth of Buddhist tourism circuit intends to catch new-age Buddhist tourists from the West, besides those from conventional markets in South East Asia.
- The ministry is currently in discussions with World Bank and Japanese government for funding of infrastructure projects linked with Buddhist tourism circuit.
- It also intends to involve the private sector in building tourism infrastructure Concerning the circuit