State Affairs

Bihar proposes 6 tourism circuits

PATNA: The Bihar government is preparing a detailed project report to develop tourist circuits in the state.

The report will be sent to the Centre to seek funds, reports The Telegraph.

The state government has decided to develop six circuits – Gandhi, Jain, Ramayan, Kanwariya, Buddha and Anga. Reports for the Jain, Kanwariya and Anga circuits have been sent to the Centre. Those on Gandhi, Ramayan and Buddha circuits are still being prepared.

Tourism minister Anita Devi said: “Apart from the state resources, we have also asked funds from the Centre ranging from Rs 50 crore to Rs 200 crore for the development of the circuits. We have sought from the Centre Rs 150 crore for the development of three circuits for which detailed reports have already been sent. For the rest, once the DPR is prepared, the final amount will be decided.”

A tourism official said plans are afoot to seek Rs 50 crore central assistance for the Gandhi circuit, while for the Ramayan and Buddha circuits it could be Rs 100 crore and Rs 200 crore respectively. This could be changed later according to requirement, he said.

Travel enthusiasts would soon be able to explore ancient sites in the old Bhagalpur division, earlier known as Anga Pradesh. The circuit would cover Bihar, parts of Jharkhand and Bengal, the official said, adding: “Tourism corridors from Deoghar to Vikramshila via Maluti at Dumka and Tarapith in Birbhum (Bengal) and also from Parashnath Temple in Giridih (Jharkhand) to Mandar Hills at Banka is proposed to be taken up.”

The Buddha circuit got fresh impetus after the ancient Nalanda University ruins were accorded Unesco World Heritage status in 2016.

“Nalanda will be developed as a star attraction. The 23-hectare site is encroached by agriculture field, settlements and concrete constructions that will be removed. The area will be demarcated and facilities of international standard created. Nalanda archaeological museum, housing 13,463 antiques unearthed at Nalanda and Rajgir, will be upgraded,” the tourism official said.

The state government effort received a boost with the Union tourism ministry identifying an extended Dharmyatra or sacred circuit retracing Buddha’s footsteps. This 15-day tour will include visits to Bodhgaya (Nalanda, Rajgir, Barabar caves, Pragbodhi Hill, Gaya), Patna, Varanasi, Kushinagar and Piparva with a day trip to Nepal’s Lumbini.

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