Buddhism tour circuit to woo more visitors

Deccan Chronicle, June 25, 2012

Karnataka, India -- Karnataka tourism is looking at exploring Buddhist sites in the state for its religious tour circuit. Till now, Jain sites have been much promoted in the religious circuit, and with the new initiative, the department hopes to bring in increased domestic and foreign travellers.

The department plans to promote the Tara Bhagavati temple in Shiralakoppa, Koliwad and Dambal in Gadag district, apart from monuments in historical Aihole in Bijapur district for the tourism initiative.

“We have got approval for setting up the Buddhist circuit. There is also a Jain circuit that has done quite well. For the Buddhist circuit, we are even looking at China for promoting this circuit among Buddhist travellers,” said Mrs Latha Krishna Rao, Principal Secretary, Tourism. For some time now, the state tourism department has found much takers on its Jain circuits such as Shravanabelagola and Karkala.

“We plan to improve accommodation facilities. In Shravanabelagola, there are proposals for adding more medium-level accommodation facilities for tourists,” Ms Rao added. Recently, the tourism department conducted a survey across the state for determining tourism needs and found that the state needs improved accommodation facilities, especially medium and high-end level. In Bengaluru alone, tourist facilities capable of accommodating both medium and high end tourists to the extent of 28,000 persons is required.

With this focus in the global investors' meet, the tourism department had announced that Hyatt Hotels and Resorts will be setting up a five-star hotel at Hampi, while Orange County, Somateeram and Windflower will be setting up resorts around heritage spots like Pattadakal, Aihole, Belur, Bijapur, Jog, Mysore and Anekal.