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Sarah Park

We had a fantastic 10 day trek in the Langtang Valley over Christmas break, 2012. Bharat organized a trek for our two families, a group of 9, with 5 kids aged 10-14. All details were finely tuned. He left nothing undone and was very flexible in adjusting the itinerary as the trip progressed. The location of the trek in the Langtang Valley was beautiful with all the soaring peaks, green valleys, Tibetan villages and friendly people  

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Latest Update

Buddhist Circuit developed to exploit tourism potential

Buddhist Circuit.Com, a subsidiary of Himalayan Expedition, has developed a pilgrimage itinerary in a bid to tap the potential of Buddhist tourism in Nepal. The company said its proposed Buddhist Circuit could attract tens of thousands of foreign Buddhist pilgrims every year. 

According to the company, it will also combine the Nepali Buddhist Circuit with the Indian Buddhist Circuit to reap greater benefits for the country. “It is high time we developed a Buddhist Circuit in Nepal as the country has many important Buddhist sites related directly with the Buddha’s life,” said Bikrum Pandey, managing director of Himalayan Expedition.

As per the company’s preliminary plan, the Buddhist Circuit in Nepal will include holy sites like Bauddha, Swayambhu, Namobuddha, Kapilvastu, Tilaurakot, Kudan, Niglihawa, Sagarhawa, Baan Ganga, Maya Devi Temple and Ram Gram.

During the International Buddhist Conclave held in Varanasi, India from Sept 28-30, 2012, the Tourism Minister and the Chief Minister of India had announced plans to attract more than 5 million Buddhists or Buddhism-related tourists with its Buddhist Circuit route.

Inspired by India’s move, Buddhist Circuit has aimed to draw at least 25 percent of this massive number of Buddhists through adjoining territories. “India’s target is an encouraging step for Nepal because Lumbini lies in Nepal which is the start for all Buddhist Circuit pilgrimage tours,” said Pandey who is also the vice-president of the Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO).

Meanwhile, the company has requested the government to take concrete steps like improving the infrastructure, improving cross-border visa and entry regulations, improving archaeological sites and expanding Bhairahawa airport and allowing more international flights to Lumbini directly in order to benefit from Buddhist tourism.

Bishnu Bidari, chief archaeologist of the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), said that India had recently begun promoting its Buddhist Circuit with a lucrative package programme. “The Indian government is bringing railway tourists for a quick day trip to Lumbini which is not enough for the visitors or for Lumbini’s broader prospects of tourism,” he said.

He added that if the trend continued, no tourists visiting Lumbini would spend the night in Nepal which will severely hurt local tourism entrepreneurs. “The government should request the Indian government to include Lumbini in their tour packages at least as a one-night destination.