A dozen of new low cost flights has been announced for the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit in India. It is a good news to the Buddhists from various South East Asian countries who regularly visit these Buddhist circuits across India as their travels are now set to get much easier and cheaper. These new routes are set to begin soon.
“Indian budget airline IndiGo announced last week that they plan 12 new daily flights to the Buddhist pilgrimage cities of Gaya, Patna, and Varanasi. The flights, which can be booked now, are scheduled to begin 8 August from Kolkata and between these cities.” said the report in the Buddhist Journal, Buddhistdoor.
According to the report, the promotion is aimed at attracting Buddhist pilgrims from East and Southeast Asia, as IndiGo currently serves Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and is planning new routes from Vietnam and Chengdu, China, to Kolkata in coming months. Each of these cities are closest cities to four major Buddhist pilgrimage sites of India.
Buddhism has played an important role in recent Indian history, with resurgences from both conversions within the country’s Dalit population, led by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, and an influx of refugees from Tibet, most notably His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Although Buddhists constitute just 0.8 percent of the country, the Indian tourism ministry launched ambitious initiatives across the Buddhist pilgrimage circuits.