'Need to work out plans on how to link Lumbini with Bodh Gaya'

India and Nepal on Saturday stressed for Greater mutual cooperation in pilgrimage tourism by promoting a combined Buddhist pilgrimage circuit, linking Lumbini with Bodh Gaya to strengthen bilateral ties.

PTI| Updated: Oct 11, 2014, 18:08 PM IST

Kathmandu: India and Nepal on Saturday stressed for Greater mutual cooperation in pilgrimage tourism by promoting a combined Buddhist pilgrimage circuit, linking Lumbini with Bodh Gaya to strengthen bilateral ties.

"We need to work out plans on how to link Lumbini (birth place of Lord Budhha) with Bodh Gaya (where Buddha said to have obtained enlightenment) of India so as to promote a combined Buddhist pilgrimage circuit," Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said.

"We are seriously working towards linking the two Buddhist circuits, Nepalese and Indian Buddhist circuits," he added.

"The idea is to link the two Buddhist circuits so that Buddhist pilgrims visiting either Nepal or India can enjoy a total Buddhist package in an integrated way.

"We need to work on what should be done to make this an attractive tourist destination and how to strengthen cultural, religious and economic linkages between the two countries," said Rae.

Dinesh Bhattarai, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala's Foreign Affairs Advisor, said that a stable and democratic Nepal stands as a more trustworthy and reliable neighbour to act as a stabilising force for regional peace and the world at large.

"Nepal and India have vital interests in each other's democracy, wellbeing and independence generating a plentiful of goodwill and the two countries deserve cooperation for mutual benefits," said Bhattarai.

A stable and democratic Nepal stands as a more trustworthy and reliable neighbour to act as a stabilising force for regional peace and the world at large, said Bhattarai, while attending "Nepal-India Friendship and Economic Cooperation" programme organised by Nepal India Forum for Peace and Development in Kathmandu.

"Democracy has taken strong roots in India and despite its huge population and ethnic diversity democracy has survived in India, and I want to see democracy flourish in Nepal in the same manner as in India," Bhishma Narayan Singh, former governor of Orissa and Tamil Nadu said.

"After the promulgation of the new Constitution, Nepal will be the most prosperous country in this region," he said.

"South Asia region along with China, is poised to become an important place for global trade, global investment and technology transfer," Mahesh Acharya, Nepal Minister of Forest and Soil Conservation said.

"For that to happen there should be good relations among nations of the region, and fortunately, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has already committed himself and taken steps towards that direction," he pointed out.