Spiritual Circuits On Wait

While the State Government is expecting sanction and funding for Spiritual Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Rural Circuit in Odisha, those are not forthcoming.

Akhandalamani Temple, Biraja Temple, Sarala Temple and Baladev Jew Temples get together have been identified as Spiritual Circuit.

Two years ago the State Government had approached MoT for funding the development of infrastructure facilities in the Spiritual Circuit.

However Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is yet to respond, while the Ministry has been funding such Circuits for development.

As the Buddhist Triangle is attracting large number of tourists, the MoT  is yet to include these places under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

The Buddhist Triangle -Ratnagiri-Lalitgiri-Udayagiri, popularly known as the Diamond Triangle of Odisha is now a Hot Spot of tourist attraction.

The Rock Edict-XII of Emperor Ashoka of Third Century BC found near Dhauli bears the testimony to the acceptance of Buddhism spread to rest of the world after Kalinga War from the very place.

The Buddhist remains in the form of Chaityas, Stupas, Monasteries and the Relic Casket found here aptly establish this Circuit at par Nalanda and Bodhgaya.

MoT has provided more than Rs.33 Crore to Bihar for development of infrastructure of Buddhist Circuit in Bodhgaya.

In view of the above, Odisha deserves to be included in the list of Buddhist Circuits announced by Ministry of Tourism under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

State Government has requested the Ministry of Tourism to include Dhauli-Ratnagiri-Lalitgiri-Udayagiri-Langudi Buddhist Circuit of Odisha under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

Similarly, Ministry of Tourism (MoT) decided to promte Rural Tourism in the country side of India.

Accordingly for development of tourism infrastructures in these areas are being funded by the MoT.

Looking at the tourist interest, the State Government chalked out several zones as Rural Circuit.

In Zone I, Mayurbhanj-Balasore-Keonjhar-Jajpur-Jagatsinghpur-Kendrapara-Cuttack-Dhenkanal has been recognised as Rural Circuit.

Similarly in Zone II, Khorda-Puri-Nayagarh-Ganjam has been identified as Rural Circuit.

For development of infrastructure in both these Zones, Odisha Government had approached the Union Government to provide funds for infrastructure development in 2015.

After lapse of three years MoT is yet to sanction any funds for the Circuit, while several Rural Circuits in neighbor  Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and West Bengal has already been funds.

Ministry of Tourism is also funding development of infrastructure in spiritual Circuit in various states.

Recently Tourism & Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda had urged  Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam for sanction of funds for development of Rural Circuit and Spiritual Circuit in the state, keeping in view infrastructure development in tourism sector.

He also emphasized on promotion of diamond Quadrangle of Buddhist sites of Odisha in India Tourism Publicity Campaign.

Mr.Panda said that Odisha has already requested the Centre for both the sanctions under ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme in October, 2015 and January, 2016 respectively.

Odisha Minister also drew attention of the Union Minister to implement Light & Sound Show at Khandagiri which has been pending for long.

However, MoT is yet to respond over the matter and funding is awaited, said a senior official of the Department of Tourism.

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