VARANASI: Sarnath, the place where Buddha gave his first sermon and served as base for spread of Buddhism, is set to become the heart of India’s Buddhist circuit.
Talking to TOI exclusively after the fifth International Buddhist Conclave, minister of state for culture and tourism Mahesh Sharma said, “Sarnath would be developed as a nodal center for all tourist activity in Buddhist circuit.”
Sharma stated that Sarnath was extremely dear to the followers of Buddha. “This is the land where Prince Siddharth explored his real self and decided to walk the path his heart wanted to. He also delivered his first sermon in this place and it is natural for his devotees to come to this place,” the minister said.
He added that it was because of the expectations of the tourists that union and state governments were making efforts to improve facilities in all places that fall in the Buddhist circuit. “Funds to the tune of Rs 231 crore would be spent for various projects to enrich tourist experience here.”