Buddhist Circuit Special Train: Check Launch Date, Features, and More
In order to tap the potential of Buddhist tourism, the Minister of State for Tourism and Defence, Ajay Bhatt, flagged off the Buddhist Circuit Special Train on 4 October 2021 from Safdarjung Railway Station situated in the national capital.
The train has been launched jointly by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Railways under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. The ceremony was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Tourism, IRCTC, and other industry stakeholders.
1- The train will cover destinations such as Gaya-Bodhgaya, Rajgir-Nalanda in Bihar and Sarnath-Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
2- The Buddhist Circuit Train FAM Tour and Conference starts from Delhi and ends at Delhi covering prominent Buddhist sites and conferences situated at Bodhgaya and Varanasi.
3- The passenger train consists of facilities such as a canteen, sanitiser machines, restaurant, and more.
4- The event is likely to be attended by approximately 125 delegates which include tour operators, hoteliers, media and officials of the Ministry of Tourism & State Governments. Additionally, 100 local tour operators and other stakeholders from the tourism and hospitality sector will attend the event at Bodhgaya and Varanasi to discuss the key issues with regard to the development and advancement of tourism in the circuit.
It is to be noted that the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with various Central Ministries and State Governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is developing a Buddhist circuit across the prominent Buddhist destinations in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The major developments are Connectivity, Infrastructure and logistics, Cultural research, heritage & education, Public awareness, communication and outreach. Under the aforementioned verticals, development of international airports at Kushinagar and Shravasti, operationalisation of RCS UDAN routes connecting Buddhist destinations, development of Gaya Railway station, construction of national and state highways connecting Buddhist destinations, development of Bodh Gaya under iconic sites and Swadesh Darshan scheme, development of museums and heritage centre at Buddhist destinations, digitisation and preservation of manuscripts at Buddhist Tibetan institutes, development of courses on Buddhism and so forth.
Under public awareness, communication and outreach vertical, development of virtual gallery on shared Buddhist heritage at National Museum, creation of an annual calendar of events, Buddhist media campaign in key source markets, Buddhist conclave etc.