Bodh Gaya to be developed into a world-class tourist destination


Tourism in Bihar is set to get a massive boost as Bodh Gaya is soon going to get developed as one of the 16 iconic destinations in India. According to reports, Bihar Chief Minister was presented a detailed plan regarding this by the tourism department of Bihar.

One of the most important places for the followers of Buddhism, it was in Bodh Gaya where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. The Chief Minister was informed that the tourism department is now planning world-class accommodation for tourists, who come here from across the world. The Chief Minister, in turn, asked the committee to make the development plan after visiting the spot. The government is also building a Mahabodhi Cultural Centre here at Gaya, which would seat about 2000 people. Also, a standard guest house is being built for travellers. Several other facilities are being put in place at Bodh Gaya for guests coming to the holy place.

According to the CM’s statement, “The state government is also working on a plan to link Bodh Gaya, Rajgir and Vaishali, all the three important places where Lord Buddha visited and stayed. We are also working to provide all facilities to Buddhist monks and tourists visiting Bodh Gaya from other places.”

Bodh Gaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is also home to the tree under which Buddha got enlightenment; it also has the holy Mahabodhi Temple. Additionally, there are other important temples as well.

Bodh Gaya to be Developed as Next Tourist Destination: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar


New Delhi: Amongst the 16 tourist destinations in the country, Bihar government’s tourism department has prepared an elaborate plan to develop Bodh Gaya as one of the iconic travel destinations.

The State tourism department on Monday held talks with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while showcasing a detailed presentation on the action plan to promote tourism and the developmental vision for accommodating tourists in the district.

As per a Times of India report, the CM subsequently addressed a meeting with the tourism department at ‘Sankalp’ hall in his residence in Patna and recounted that the government was already taking concrete steps to promote tourism in Bodh Gaya.

The government is setting up a Mahabodhi Culture Centre with an auditorium to accommodate up to 2000 people as a part of the tourism goal. He also directed the tourism department to fix a date to visit Bodh Gaya for a better understanding of the vision.

Further, the CM said that the state government was also working on a plan to link Bodh Gaya, Rajgir and Vaishali, the three important places where Lord Buddha visited and stayed. “We are also working to provide all facilities to Buddhist monks and tourists visiting Bodh Gaya from other places,” he added.

CM Kumar has also asked the tourism officials to work on promoting agroforestry produces as a part of the marketing strategy as well as educate farmers on promoting crop cycle.

The Principal Secretary of tourism department Deepak Kumar Singh earlier informed that a total of 846.83 lakh saplings have been planted in the state from 2012 to 2019.

Hampi to be developed as iconic tourist destination


BENGALURU: Hampi, a popular tourist destination, will soon be developed into a world-class tourism destination with improved facilities for visitors. It has been listed as an ‘iconic site’ along with 16 others, including the Taj Mahal, Kumarakom, Kaziranga, Khajuraho, Ajanta and Elora, which will be taken up for development. It is the only site in Karnataka which figures in the list.

The announcement was made in the Union Budget proposals for 2019-20, presented by Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday. Although Rs 1,378.53 crore has been allocated for building tourism infrastructure, the cost and funding pattern for developing the iconic sites are yet to be worked out.
The Union tourism ministry has been working on the list for more than a year. Officials of the ministry and the state tourism department have been holding a series of meetings with experts to prepare a master plan on the way forward. As a model site, the destination will be a one-stop destination in a combination of infrastructure and soft skills, said a tourism department official. 

THE list has been prepared keeping in mind the cultural importance, heritage value and tourism potential. Sites have been chosen as they are the most do-able places and popular, where any development works taken up will immediately attract attention and increase footfall.

Hampi is listed for its size, continuous findings and promising economic value. Also called the ‘City of Ruins’, it has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is well protected by the state and central Archaeological Departments.

Based on the success of the Hampi plan, the state government plans to replicate the model at other important tourist sites. “After Hampi, work will be taken up at Pattadakal on the same lines, which is also a UNESCO-listed site, followed by the clusters of Badami and Aihole. The forts of Vijayapura, Kalaburgi and Bidar also show promise,” the official said.

The 17 sites listed are popular on the tourist circuit, but a lot more can be done. To become world-class destinations, the place should be well connected by air, rail and road. There should be good signages to guide tourists around the city and the sites. Well-trained guides, interpretation centres and sufficient literature giving all details should be available. Most importantly, there should be proper facilities in place for clean restrooms and restaurants.

Iconic Tourist Sites
Hampi (Karnataka), Taj Mahal, Fathepur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), Ajanta and Ellora (M’rashtra), Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, Red Fort (Delhi), Colva Beach (Goa), Amer Fort (Rajasthan), Somnath, Dholavira (Gujarat), Khajuraho (MP), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Kaziranga (Assam), Kumarakom (Kerala)and Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar)

‘Bihar Suno Nahin Dekho’: How these women are trying to change perception about Bihar


The very mention of Bihar brings images of an under-developed society into the mind — when the state clearly has emerged as one of the fastest growing regions in India, clocking over 10 per cent annual growth for the past decade.

According to the Bihar Economic Survey, in 2016-17, the growth rate was 11.3 per cent, while the national average was 7 per cent.

Rapid growth in infrastructure, energy and communication sectors and public investment in roads played a major role in bringing the turnaround. Other important factor that contributed in the spurt of opportunities was the plethora of campaigners who worked tirelessly for changing the perception about Bihar.

Amongst the campaigners are two women — Yashi Malviya and Sukriti Yadav — who took it upon themselves to inform the world how beautiful Bihar can be.

The two women, both of them journalists, began a campaign through their website ‘Bihar Bytes’ and travelled to as many as 32 districts of Bihar. From their travel was born #biharsunonahidekho — capturing the essence of the state.

Under the hashtag, they ran video clips, photographs and stories about several unexplored places of Bihar — places that can be on the bucket lists of tourists — on the social media . 

“One fine day, we Googled Bihar and we were shocked to see that there were almost no good images of the state on the internet. Bihar was perceived in a negative light. And there on we took it upon us to work and improve the image of the state,” Yashi Malviya, co-founder at Bihat Bytes, said.

Speaking to India TV, Sukriti Yadav, co-founder at Bihar Bytes, said, “I have heard several people say there was no place to visit in Bihar. We visited a lot of places which were not promoted. Manjhar Kund, Tutla Bhawani waterfall, Rohtasgarh Fort, Panth Pakkar, Darbhanga Fort, Rajnagar Palace, and others were on our list. We collected relevant data about the places to spread the word through social media, our website and various travel and blogger meet-ups.”

Perhaps a start is made — to attract people from across the world and the Bihari diaspora to come to explore the state.  

The two campaigners now only hope that they bring a change in how Bihar is perceived in India and across the world.

“I have experienced a whole new world and a different side of Bihar which had been neglected. And I want everyone to visit those places. We have heard it enough that Bihar is a backward state. We believe that increase in tourism will give a boost to employment and economic growth of the state,” Sukriti signed off.