– globalbihari bureau
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal to declare Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh as an International Airport.
Being an important Buddhist pilgrimage site where Gautama Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana, on any given day around 200-300 devotees from Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Burma, and many other countries come to offer their prayers at Kushinagar.
Besides, Kushinagar is dotted with several other Buddhist sites in the nearby surroundings like Sravasti (238 km), Kapilvastu (190 km) and Lumbini (195 km) that makes it an attraction for both followers and visitors alike. Kushinagar already serves as the presenting site for Buddhist circuit pilgrimage spanning across India and Nepal.
However, this International tourist destination had no direct connectivity, which had been a long pending demand of the visitors.
Considering that the Buddhist Circuit is a key pilgrimage destination for 530 million practicing Buddhists across the globe, the Union Cabinet was of the view that declaration of Kushinagar Airport as an ‘International Airport’ would offer improved connectivity, wider choice of services at competitive costs to the air-travellers resulting in boosting of domestic/international tourism and economic development of the region.
“Direct international connectivity to Kushinagar would substantially increase the number of foreigners and domestic tourists visiting Kushinagar, which will also provide impetus to economic development of the region. The international airport is expected to boost the already growing tourism and hospitality ecosystem in the country,” a government press release stated.