Buddhist conclave to draw global delegates

TNN, Sep 25, 2012

VARANASI, India -- As many as 28 countries have confirmed their participation in the proposed three-day International Buddhist Conclave (IBC) which will begin in the city from September 28. Around 350 delegates from 30 countries and 16 states of India will participate in the conclave being organised by governments of state and centre.

The conclave will be inaugurated by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on September 29 at Nadesar area and union tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahai will also be present in the function along with officials and tour operators of UP, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Sikkim.

According to director UP Tourism Abhilash Sharma, "The countries participating are Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia in the far East Asia, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal in South Asia, The Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Hungry, Serbia, Italy and Spain in Europe, besides USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand."

A special Ganga Arti has been organised for the delegates on September 28 at Dashaswamedh Ghat, prior to the inaugural ceremony on the next day. There will be a panel discussion on 'Buddhist Pilgrimage in India' followed by presentation by 16 states of India, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and Pawan Hans.

Delegates will also visit museum and archaeological sites in Sarnath. Besides, a cultural evening will also be organised at Sarnath the same day in which noted danseuse Dr Mallika Sarabhai and her troupe will stage a dance drama 'On His Foot Steps', depicting Lord Buddha's life, philosophy and teachings.

Apart from that, an exhibition will be organised at the same venue in which the states of India will showcase Buddhist shrines and other tourism potentials.

The conclave proceedings will resume on September 30 at the venue, beginning with a workshop on 'Linking Tourism Potential of Future Buddhist Tourists in India'. Thereafter, the delegates will leave for Bodh Gaya in Bihar where the conclave concludes on October 1.