Home BREAKING NEWS Kushinagar receives the first batch of international Buddhist travellers

Kushinagar receives the first batch of international Buddhist travellers

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Kushinagar receives the first batch of international Buddhist travellers

PM Modi inaugurated Kushinagar International Airport with the aim to facilitate Buddhist pilgrims worldwide by providing seamless connectivity to various Buddhist sites in the region (Photo Source: ANI)

 

This is the first high profile international visit to the recently inaugurated Kushinagar International Airport since the Government of India relaxed the COVID-19 protocol for international travel.

By   —  Shyamal Sinha

On 24th June 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to recognize the Kushinagar Airport as an international airport. It is India’s 29th International Airport and the fourth of Uttar Pradesh. This airport is of strategic importance to India, due to its proximity to India’s border with Nepal. The airport lies near an important Buddhist pilgrimage site where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained Parinirvana after his death. The state government has planned to develop the airport to cater to international tourists who visit the site.

 As regular international flights resumed on Sunday after a coronavirus pandemic-induced hiatus of approximately two years, a high-level Buddhist delegation from Vietnam and Thailand has arrived at Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh.

The delegation was led by the most venerable Thich Duc Thien, Vice President and General Secretary of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, through a special Charter flight on March 27.

This is the first high profile international visit to the recently inaugurated Kushinagar International Airport since the Government of India relaxed the COVID-19 protocol for international travel.

According to the statement, the chartered flight that took off from Vietnam landed in Kushinagar to a warm welcome by the people of the Kushinagar.

The legislative member of the region welcomed the revered monks and assured all support during their stay in Kushinagar.

The team of visiting Vietnamese and Thai Buddhist monks also gave USD 1000 to the local legislator as their contribution towards the development of the Kushinagar Airport.

Most Venerable Thich Duc Thien is an Indian Council International Relations alumnus and has studied Buddhism at Delhi University. He is also a member of the Vietnamese Parliament.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Kushinagar International Airport on October 20 last year. The airport aims to facilitate Buddhist pilgrims worldwide by providing seamless connectivity to various Buddhist sites in the region.

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) is the only government-recognized Buddhist organization in Vietnam. Many of the high ranking monks of VBS have studied from India. The VBS recently co-organized a quiz on Buddhism with the Embassy of India in Hanoi.

The quiz winners from Vietnam will travel to India and visit the Buddhist sites. Similarly, winners from other countries, including Sri Lanka, Thailand and Japan, will also be visiting the land of Buddha.

In June 2020, the airport was awarded international status to attract Buddhist pilgrims. In February 2021, the airport received all necessary clearances from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to be recognized as the international airport, becoming the third international airport in Uttar Pradesh after Lucknow and Varanasi.

Source  — (ANI)