Bhutan looks for Buddhist tourism links with India’s Maharashtra

Speaker of Bhutan’s National Assembly Wangchuk Namgyel expressed his desire to have tourist relations with India’s Maharashtra during a meeting with Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Mumbai.

He stated that Maharashtra, like Bhutan, had a number of Buddhist landmarks. He said that Maharashtra is home to the well-known Ajanta and Ellora caves and believed that tourist collaboration with Maharashtra would encourage travel between the two sides.

For the first time, India is hosting 108 Buddhist pilgrims from South Korea as the two countries celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties. The pilgrimage, organized by the Sangwol Society, will cover over 1,100 km and visit Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India, before moving on to Nepal.

The pilgrimage aims to increase friendship and collaboration between India and South Korea. The Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Apurva Chandra, stated that it was the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote the Buddhist tourism circuit in India to the world.

It is a known fact that Buddism in Bhutan is just a religion but a way of life. Rinpung Dzong in Paro, Tango Monastery in Thimphu, and Nalanda Buddhist Institute overlooking the Punatsangchu River in Punakha, all offer travellers a uniquely personal account of Buddhism in Bhutan.

Visiting Bhutan on an organised tour provides tourists a chance to learn more about Buddhism as they talk to accommodation hosts, local guides and visit some of the country’s most significant places of worship and sacred symbolism.

Buddhism has made the relationship between the two countries really special and unique. People from Bhutan not only recognize India as their neighbours but also an ancient place where Buddhism originated. Bhutan’s bond with India is just not limited with commercial ties but also deep spiritual bond.

A group of 36 tour operators from India came to Bhutan and met different authorities to discuss ways to promote the country as a quality tourist destination. In Bhutan familiarization (FAM) trip (January 5 -12 ), Lohit Sharma, an Indian tour operator from Assam brought 36 other tour operators with him and they appreciated the policy of ‘high quality and low volume tourism ‘

The tour operators from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi said they were impressed with the new tourism policy and that the SDF was a noble move to invest in the tourism sector and make it a high-end destination. “We are impressed by the overall scenic beauty, the environment and hospitality of Bhutanese,” Chetan Bhattarai from Assam said.

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