Monday, January 21, 2019

Buddhist Circuits Tour to begin from July Full Moon is starting the 'Buddhist Circuits Fixed Departure Tour' from the second week of July.
"The tour will begin from the full-moon day that is July 16, some 2,534 years after Siddhartha Gautam renounced palatial life by leaving Tilaurakot Palace in search of truth and enlightenment," the tour operator said in a statement today.
The programme was launched by president of Buddhist Bikram Pandey Kaji, during the First Buddhist International Travel Mart organised recently in Lumbini.
According to Pandey, participants of the trip will first visit Buddhist heritage sites in Lumbini-Kapilvastu region and enact 'The Great Renunciation' by starting the journey from the eastern gate of the ruins of Tilaurakot Palace in Kapilvastu in the same way Siddhartha Gautam renounced his palatial life and ventured out in search of truth and enlightenment. "They will then drive to India via Belhaiya border and travel to places like Nalanda, Vaishali, Rajgir, Bogh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar before returning to Lumbini," he added.
The journey will be conducted in luxury buses. This tour package will not only extend the length of stay of tourists in the Lumbini-Kapilvastu region but also provide opportunities for income generation to local people, Pandey said.
Foreign tourists usually visiting stay Lumbini barely stay for 30 minutes, according a study conducted in 2013. As Gautam Buddha International Airport is expected to come into operation near Lumbini by the end of 2019, the government has been working to promote Buddhist pilgrimage in a big way.
“This is the first time a fixed departure tour associated with the Buddha’s life has been launched," Pandey said, adding that they will organise the tour every Full Moon Day as the Full Moon Day is associated with the life of the Buddha. "However, the tour can be organised regularly, if demand picks up."
Lumbini received 1.53 million tourists in 2018, up 16.54 percent, according to the statistics of the Lumbini Development Trust. Among them, 1.18 million were Nepali, 193,635 Indian and 169,904 third country tourists. A majority of foreign tourists visiting Lumbini are handled by Indian tour operators. They enter Lumbini overland from across the Indian border, and spend a few minutes looking around. As a result, the local community and the country have not been able to reap benefits from the day trippers.
Pandey has launched the Buddhist Circuit tour following the success of the Everest marathon.

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