Lucknow, Oct 4 : The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department plans to develop various tourism sites, including Kaushambi, associated with Buddhism under the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme and connect these with the Buddhist Circuit.
Tourism Department Deputy Director Dinesh Singh said a Rs 50-crore proposal in this regard would be submitted to the state government for approval.
The proposal is based on an elaborate survey conducted by different departments like forest, power, revenue, and tourism of several sites of religious and historical importance.
The Buddhist Circuit follows the footsteps of Gautam Buddha from Lumbini in Nepal where he was born, through Gaya in Bihar where he attained enlightenment, to Sarnath where he gave his first sermon, and Kushinagar where he died.
Gautam Buddha visited Kaushambi town a number of times to deliver sermons to his followers.
The proposal explains how various ancient and historical sites in Kaushambi can be preserved and developed to boost the district’s tourism potential.
“If the proposal is approved, we plan to add several attractions for tourists, including a majestic meditation centre. Visitors will also be treated to an audio-visual show about the importance of various Buddhist sites in Kaushambi,” said Vishal Gulati, the architect for the project.
Public amenities like toilets, restaurants, waiting halls, handicraft markets and shops are also to be constructed for the convenience of visitors.
Other proposed attractions included an open-air theatre, water points, ATM kiosks and currency exchange centres for the convenience of foreign tourists.
“As there is not enough parking space at most places of tourist attractions, the department has proposed to launch its own e-rickshaw service to ferry tourists to the meditation centre,” he said.