India:-India, the birthplace of Buddhism, has a very rich Buddhist Heritage, with several important sites associated with the life of Lord Buddha which are essential pilgrimages for followers of Buddhism the world over.With a view to showcasing and projecting the Buddhist heritage and pilgrim sites of India, the Ministry of Tourism is organizing the 4th International Buddhist Conclave in Bodhgaya and Sarnath, in collaboration with the State Governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from the 26th to 28th September 2014. The event will give the participants an opportunity to interact, promote, package and sell pilgrimage itineraries to the Buddhist sites in the country, for overseas visitors. International Buddhist Conclaves have earlier been organized in New Delhi and Bodhgaya (February 2004); Nalanda and Bodhgaya (February 2010) and Varanasi and Bodhgaya (September 2012).
International Buddhist Conclave is one of the initiatives being taken by India as its commitment as the land of origin of Buddhism and to improve the experience of pilgrims as well as tourists wishing to savour the essence of Buddhist heritage, at the Buddhist sites of the country. Conclave will include presentations, panel discussion, business to business meetings between the international and domestic tour operators, an exhibition highlighting the Buddhist attractions in India, as well as visits to important Buddhist sites in and around Bodhgaya and Sarnath. State Governments will set up booths at the conference venue for interacting with the international delegates and for showcasing India’s Buddhist Heritage.
Participants in the Buddhist Conclave will include international Buddhist opinion makers, tour operators and media, as well as State Governments and domestic tour operators promoting pilgrimages to the Buddhist sites in the country. Approximately 120 international delegates comprising tour operators, media representatives and opinion makers from 32 countries are participating in the Conclave. In addition to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the State Governments participating in the Conclave include Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana and West Bengal. Conclave will be inaugurated on 27th September 2014 at the Kagyupa International Monlam Trust, near Terger Monastery, Bodhgaya, by the Chief Minister of Bihar and the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture Shri Shripad Naik, in the presence of the Minister for Tourism, Government of Bihar and the Minister for Technical Education, Government of Uttar Pradesh.