Nepal proposes to develop ‘Buddhist Circuit’


The Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini (file photo)

Nepal has proposed to develop ‘Buddhist Circuit’ by linking important Buddhist sites in South and South East Asian countries.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala made the proposal while addressing the third BIMSTEC Summit in Nay Pyi Taw of Myanmar on March 3. Koirala said ‘Buddhist Circuit’ can be developed as a common cultural heritage of BIMSTEC member countries.

He said the Nepali delegation would like to highlight the importance of Buddhist Circuit to promote common culture and heritage of the region. “It is necessary to increase people to people relation and cooperation in tourism sector among member countries,” Koirala said.

BIMSTEC has five countries of South Asia – Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh — and two countries of South Asia – Myanmar and Thailand — as members. Population of Buddhists in 9 percent in Nepal, 0.8 percent in India, 70.19 percent in Sri Lanka, 0.7 percent in Bangladesh, 70 percent in Bhutan, 89 percent in Myanmar and 94.6 percent in Thailand.

Lumbini – the birthplace of Lord Buddha – is the most scared pilgrimage of Buddhists from all over the world. But the country has been failing to take expected benefits from Lumbini. Nepal’s tourism sector will see a windfall if Nepal managed to attract only a fraction of Buddhists residing in BIMSTEC member countries.

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