Bodh Gaya: The Centre announced a slew of measures including launching an air-conditioned train in Buddhist circuit from next year and putting signboards in languages of different countries for non-English speakers to make Bodh Gaya and other places associated with Lord Buddha more attractive for visitors.
All the electric poles would be removed at Bodh Gaya and wires be placed under ground to spruce up the place where Buddha had attained enlightenment, Union Tourism minister Shripad Naik said at the three-day Buddhists International Festival.
Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Union Tourism Secretary Parvez Diwan, Uttar Pradesh Technical Education minister Shivkant Ojha, Bihar Tourism minister Javed Iqbal Ansari and his counterpart in Food department Shyam Rajak were present on the occasion.
Around 132 delegates from 31 countries including Japan, UK, Russia, Australia, Taiwan, Cambodia, Spain, Sri Lanka and Serbia are participating in the festival that begun at Bodh Gaya, the famous Buddhist place, about 100 km from capital Patna.
Naik said a fully air-conditioned Train would start running in the Buddhist circuit from 2015. The train would have facility of separate kitchen in the train itself in which foreign tourists could cook and enjoy food of their country.
He said a sum of Rs 1,000 crore has been sanctioned for development of Buddhist circuit.
Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the primary pilgrimage places of Buddhist Circuits associated with the life and teachings of Lord Buddha.
The Union Tourism minister said that presently it has been seen that foreign tourists come here mainly in winter season.
But to draw them here in summer season too, fortnight-long country-specific festival would be organised in monasteries of different countries.
Naik said a statue of Lord Buddha would be installed inside the lake at Ghora Katora in Rajgir in Nalanda district.