External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that India is reviving its Buddhist heritage through its ties with Mongolia and that the two...
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that India is reviving its Buddhist heritage through its ties with Mongolia and that the two countries are more spiritual partners than strategic.
"Buddhism has been a great connector of civilisations since millennia," Sushma Swaraj said. "The Buddhist Circuits are the Places of all High Significance Holy Sites of Buddhism, where Lord Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment, preached first Sermon and reached Nirvana. Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar are the primary pilgrimage places of Buddhist Circuits associated with the life and teachings of the Lord Buddha.
There are numerous other sites where the Buddha and the saints that followed traveled during his life after his transformation, which are held in deep veneration. Visitors can travel through this Buddhist Circuit today, to savor the splendid beauty and great appeal of Buddhism," writes http://www.buddhistcircuits.com.
Three Buddhist Circuits have been identified by the Ministry of Tourism in the country to be developed with the help of Central government/State government/private stake holders. These include the following:-
Circuit 1: The Dharmayatra or the Sacred Circuit: This will be a 5 to 7 days circuit and will include visits to Gaya (Bodhgaya), Varanasi (Sarnath), Kushinagar, Piparva (Kapilvastu) with a day trip to Lumbini in Nepal.
Circuit 2: Extended Dharmayatra or Extended Sacred Circuit or Retracing Buddha’s Footsteps This will be a 10 to 15 day circuit and will include visits to Bodhgaya (Nalanda, Rajgir, Barabar caves, Pragbodhi Hill, Gaya), Patna (Vaishali, Lauriya Nandangarh, Lauriya Areraj, Kesariya, Patna Museum), Varanasi (Sarnath), Kushinagar, Piparva (Kapilvastu, Shravasti, Sankisa) with a day trip to Lumbini in Nepal
Circuit 3: Buddhist Heritage Trails (State Circuits) which include: i. Jammu and Kashmir - Ladakh, Srinagar (Harwan, Parihaspora) and Jammu (Ambaran); ii. Himachal Pradesh - Dharamshala, Spiti, Kinnaur and Lahaul; iii. Punjab-Sanghon; iv. Haryana– Jind (Assan), Yamunanagar (Sugh); v. Maharashtra -Aurangabad (Ajanta, Ellora, Pithalkora Caves), Pune (Karla Caves), Mumbai (Kanheri Caves), Pune (Bhaja Caves) and Nashik (Pandavleni Caves); vi. Andhra Pradesh - Amravati, Nagarjunakonda, Vizag (Borra Caves, Salihundum Caves); vii. Madhya Pradesh - Sanchi, Satdhara, Andher, Sonari, Murulkurd; viii. Odisha (Dhauli, Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, Udaygiri, Langudi, Khandagiri); ix. Chhattisgarh – Sirpur; x. West Bengal - Kolkata (Indian Museum); xi. Sikkim - Rumtek, Enchay and other Monasteries; and xii. Arunachal Pradesh –Tawang and Bomdila.