India to develop tourist circuit tracing Huen Tsang's travels
India on Wednesday said it plans to develop a tourist circuit tracing Chinese scholar Huen Tsang's travels during his nine-year stay in the country in the seventh century.
Beijing: India on Wednesday said it plans to develop a tourist circuit tracing Chinese scholar Huen Tsang's travels during his nine-year stay in the country in the seventh century.
Plans are afoot to launch the tourist circuit to promote people-to-people contacts between the two nations, India's Ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha said during an interaction with a 100-member delegation of youths from India at the Indian Embassy here.
India and China have already released an encyclopedia on their age-old cultural contacts, tracing back their history to over 2,000 years, starting from the visit of Huen Tsang (known as Xuan Zang in Chinese) to India in the 7th century to bring Buddhist scriptures to China.
Huen Tsang (602 AD-664 AD) travelled to India on foot to seek Buddhist sutras and believed to have brought about 660 Sanskrit texts with him and translated them into Chinese.
He along with another Chinese monk Fa-Hien (Faxian) paved the way for spread of Buddhism in China.
Kantha said officials of the ruling Communist Party of China have suggested a documentary be made about the travels of Fa-Hien, who spent 13 years in India studying Buddhism.
"We want to utilise history and cultural exchanges as a force which will bring the two countries together in contemporary period. Jointly with China and separately we are undertaking a series of activities," he said.
While the 'Glimpses of India' festival is currently being staged in a number of Chinese cities, next year will be observed as 'Visit India Year' followed by a 'Visit China Year' in 2016, he said.
The ambassador said yoga has become immensely popular in China, with hundreds of outlets teaching the Indian physical and spiritual art form all over the country.
Emphasising on deepening ties between the two countries, Kantha said the bilateral trade last year totalled to USD 66.44 billion and is likely to touch USD 70 billion this year.
He said China has emerged as India's largest trading partner.
China is stepping up its investments in India by pumping in USD 20 billion in two industrial parks as agreed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit in September.
Kantha said the most fascinating aspect about China was its rapid economic development and pulling millions of people out poverty.
"It is said that at no point of time so many people have been pulled out poverty within such a short time (in the world). Something parallel is happening in India but we have a lot catching up to do," he said.
He said what is happening in the two countries is truly exciting.
The delegation, with and average age of about 25 years, is on a week-long visit to China under the annual people-to-people contact programme.
Every year 100 youths, including students, activists as well as journalists visit each other's countries under the programme.
Officials say plans are afoot to increase it to 200 people in the coming years.
Welcoming the delegation, Deputy Ambassador Bala Bhaskar has advised them to be envoys of India by behaving well and ensure that no untoward incident take place.