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Kushinagar International Airport to provide seamless connectivity

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    25th Oct, 2021

Context

The Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh is the latest entrant in India's list of international Airports. The airport is expected to provide seamless connectivity to people from Southeast and East Asian countries for Buddhist Pilgrimage Tourism.

About

Important Facts on Kushinagar (death- place of Lord Buddha)

  • Kushinagar is a historical place located in the north-eastern marginal area of ??Uttar Pradesh.
  • It is located on National Highway 28, about 50 km east of Gorakhpur.
  • This is a Buddhist pilgrimage where Gautam Buddha had
  • It is one of the four sacred places of Lord Buddha.
  • Buddha delivered his last sermon, attained Mahaparinirvana (salvation) in 483 BC and was cremated at Rambhar Stupa.
  • The reclining nirvana statue of Lord Buddha inside the temple is 6.10 mt. long and is made of monolith red-sand stone of the 5th century A.D.
  • It represents the ‘Dieing-Buddha’ reclining on his right side with his face towards the west.
  • Being the death- place of Lord Buddha, it is holy place for pilgrimage.

Historical perspective

  • The Kushinagar's history dates back to centuries back and in those times it was dubbed as Kushavati (Jatakas).
  • It has its mention in Ramayana and it is said that the town got its name from the son of Lord Rama, Kusha.
  • Besides this, it was a famed place of the Malla Empire of ancient India.

Kushinagar International Airport

  • The airport, built at an estimated cost of Rs 260 crore, will boost economy of the region.
  • The Kushinagar airport project will connect the region associated with different phases of Lord Buddha’s life such as Kushinagar, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya and Kapilvastu to the rest of the world.
  • The project will not only provide better connectivity to followers of Buddhism in India but also to those in countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Japan, South Korea and others.
  • The opening of Kushinagar International Airport is expected to be a milestone in India-Sri Lanka relations.
  • During the opening of the Airport, Sri Lanka presented India pictures of two murals paintings:
    • One Mural Painting depicts Arahat Bhikkhu ’Mahinda, son of Emperor Ashoka delivering a Buddha message to King Devanampiyatissa of Sri Lanka.
    • One shows the arrival of ‘The hero Bhikkhuni’ Sanghamitta, the daughter of the Emperor, Sri Lanka, holding a small stem of the ‘sacred tree of Bodhi’ which Siddh?rtha Gautama is believed to have received enlightenment under.
  • The Buddhist circuit shows the use of soft power in India's foreign policy.
  • Further, the Buddhist faith, due to its emphasis on peaceful co-existence and its wide pan-Asian presence, lends itself well to soft-power diplomacy.

About the Buddhist Circuit

  • In 2014-15, the Department of Tourism launched the Swadesh Darshan program to develop theme-based tourism circuits in terms of high tourism value.
    • The Department has identified the Buddhist Circuit as one of the fifteen thematic circuits for development under this program.
  • The Buddhist circuit is the path that follows the footsteps of the Buddha from Lumbini in Nepal to Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh India, where he died.
    • Buddhist pilgrims look to Kushinagar as a shrine, believing that Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon and received the ‘Mahaparinirvana’ or salvation.
  • Investing in the Buddhist Circuit is the result of the first partnership between
    • The Government of India’s Ministry of Tourism
    • The State Governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
    • The private sector
    • Buddhist monasteries and sects
    • The World Bank Group
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