The full potential of temples and Buddhist sites in the east and the North East and famous temples of the south have not been explored to the fullest, a Parliamentary Standing Committee Standing Report on Tourism and Culture said here.
Majority of the tourist spots in the country are not accessible to the tourists, both domestic and foreign.
This is because of high costs of travelling, poor connectivity and a series of permissions required for various reasons, the report said.
The Committee, therefore, recommended that the Tourism Ministry must address the issues of connectivity and better facilities for the tourists at Buddhist sites.
The panel felt that focus should be on those areas which possess touristic/historic/religious importance, and are not connected by rail, road and air.
The proper connectivity will further help to increase foreign exchange earnings from foreign tourists which can further help in development of that area. The Committee appreciated the steps being taken by the ministry for development of Interstate Buddhist Circuit in the country which had a large potential for
The panel recommended that the government should make every effort to provide the required facilities to Kushinagar (district in Uttar Pradesh and resting place of Buddha) and other important places related to Buddha.
The panel, headed by AITC MP Derek O'Brien, also recommended the ministry should consider including Gocharan (village located in Baruipur Tehsil of South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal) as one of the places related to India.
Buddhist sites are rich in traditions and places of spiritual significance. There are five places associated with Lord Buddha. First is Lumbini where he was born, second is Bodh Gaya where he was enlightened, third is Sarnath, Varanasi where he delivered his first discourse, fourth is Shravasti where he lived his entire life, and fifth is Kushinagar, the most pious place where Lord Buddha attained Nirvana.
The panel includes MPs Rajeev Shukla, Praful Patel, Kumari Selja, Rajesh Ranjan, K C Venugopal and Shatrughan Sinha among others.