Published on: October 8, 2021

BUDDHIST CIRCUIT

BUDDHIST CIRCUIT

Xianshuigu What is in news : Ministry of culture to provide financial push to Buddhist circuit

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  • Buddhist Circuit was announced in 2016
  • Under the Ministry of Tourism’s flagship Swadesh Darshan scheme
  • Projects are at different stages of implementation, with the government eyeing a completion deadline of 2022-23
  • Sites – Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Viashali, Sarnath, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Kaushambi, Sankisa and Kapilavastu.
  • These sites currently receive approximately six per cent of nationwide foreign tourist arrivals, with Sarnath and Bodh Gaya leading the pack.
  • The construction of a Cultural Centre at Bodh Gaya is also underway.
  • In Varanasi, two projects including a sound and light show at Dhamek Stupa and a Buddha Theme Park, Sarnath, worth Rs 9.5 crore have already been completed.
  • Capacity building – linguistic tourist facilitator training in Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese languages.
  • Improving connectivity – Plans of developing helicopter services and improving international connectivity under the UDAN scheme. Apart from the special Buddhist Circuit train, a total of 88 pairs of trains have been connected from Gaya to New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Varanasi.

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PLACES RELATED TO LIFE OF BUDDHA

  • Lumbini is currently located in Kapilavastu district of Nepal. It is birth place of Buddha. At the time of birth of Buddha, Lumbini was a part of Shakya Janapada, which was a republic.
  • Bodhgaya is located in Bihar on the bank of river Neranjana {this river was known as Uruwela at that time}. It is known for place of enlightment of Buddha.
  • Sarnath {also known as Mrigadava, Migadaya, Rishipattana, Isipatana} is the deer park where Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon or Dhammachakraparivartan Sutra. At the time of Buddha, it was a part of Kashi Janapada.
  • Kushinara or Kushinagara is located in Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh. It is the site of Buddha’s death and mahaparinirvana. At the time of Buddha’s death, it was a capital of Malla janapada.
  • Sravasti was located in Uttar Pradesh around area of Balrampur in modern Uttar Pradesh. It is closely asscoiated with the life of Buddha because Buddha had spent 24 Chaturmasas {implies 24 years because one year as only one Chaturmasa between Ashadha to Kartika}. Thus, we can say that most of monastic life of Buddha was spent in Shravasti. In Buddha’s times, Shravasti was capital of Kosala Kingdom. Shravasti is also birthplace of Jaina Tirthankar Sambhavanath, and thus is important for Jains also.
  • It’s current location is Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh. It has some faiths of Buddhism that Buddha after is death descended from heaven here.
  • Rajgir was the early capital of Magadh Janapada, which was ruled by Bimbisara during Buddha’s time. After the great departure (Mahabhinishkramana), Buddha had first gone to Rajgir. He started begging alms over there and living life of an ascetic. King Bimbisara had offered Buddha his throne which he turned down.