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April 30, 2012

MTDC To Develop Buddhist Tourist Circuits In The State


30 April 2012

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is set to develop seven Buddhist tourist circuits in the state to attract religious tourists from across India, Korea, Japan and Malaysia. As many as 25 sites and caves connected with Buddhism will be developed at a cost of Rs 70 crore. "The idea is to form a tourist attraction of prominent sites in the state associated with Buddha," an official said, according to a report by The Times of India.

The corporation will provide amenities for the Nashik-Pune circuit and introduce tourist amenities at Pandavleni, Junnar, Karla, Bhaja and Bedsa caves.

The project involves developing the Mumbai-Thane, Raigad, Nashik-Pune, Satara, Aurangabad I and II, and Nagpur circuits.

"Parameters such as the connectivity between these places, tourist facilities and information systems have been studied. Additions will be made. Some places have good connectivity, but may lack parking facilities. Hence, missing amenities will be provided," the official further said.

The corporation will also establish interpretation centres in Mansar (Nagpur), and Nalasopara (Mumbai) if land is available, after permission from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is obtained. Information about a site and its connection with Buddhism will also be displayed at these heritage spots.

As part of the Mumbai-Thane sub-circuit, plans are afoot to develop Nalasopara stupa, Vipassana pagoda, Canary, Mahakali caves and Chaitya Bhoomi. In Raigad, the corporation will set up tourist facilities at Thanale, Gandharpale, Kuda and Khadsambale caves. The Nashik-Pune circuit will have basic tourist amenities at sites such as Pandavleni, Junnar, Karla, Bhaja, Bedsa and Ghoradeshwar caves, stated the report.