China, others circle over Buddhist spots

Indian Express, Apr 10 2011

Lucknow, India -- The Buddhist circuit in UP is all set to get a major boost as airline companies from Sri Lanka, Nepal, China and Thailand are keen to start their services from Varanasi.

Officials said while plans for air services to Kathmandu and Colombo have been finalised, a Chinese airline has also expressed its eagerness to operate flights on Varanasi-Beijing circuit from October. A Chinese delegation met state officials at LBS Babatpur airport on Friday.

The key destination in the Buddhist circuit, Varanasi witnesses one of the highest footfalls in UP as tourists from countries like Japan, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and Indonesia flock to this town situated in the banks of the Ganga.

From here, the tourists move to other places in the circuit like Sarnath, Kushinagar, Shravasti, Kaushambi and Farukkhabad. The need for having air connectivity between these countries was being discussed from a long time as the nearest airport for tourists from these countries is New Delhi.