PM Modi to inaugurate the Kushinagar airport today, a boost to Buddhist pilgrimage
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will open the Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh, which is the site of Lord Buddha's Parinirvana. The move aims to enhance tourism on the Buddhist circuit by leveraging three economic development indicators: trade, tourism, and technology. The ambassadors of at least 10-15 nations where Buddhism is practised and preached are scheduled to attend today's inauguration ceremony. More than 100 priests and eight high priests from Sri Lanka will also be present, led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's son Namal.
The Kushinagar airport, which is being built at a cost of 260 crore, would service the adjacent districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and is seen as a key step in increasing investment and job prospects in the region. According to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office, the airport will make it easier for domestic and international pilgrims to visit Lord Buddha's 'Mahaparinirvana' site and will help connect Buddhist pilgrimage holy places around the world (PMO).
Modi will visit the Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar for an event commemorating Abhidhamma Day, according to the PMO, before proceeding to the public ceremony and subsequent inauguration of the airport. The Prime Minister will pay his respects to Lord Buddha's reclining statue and plant a Bodhi tree sapling at the temple. Prime Minister Modi will later lay the groundwork for a number of other development projects, including the Rajkiya Medical College, which would cost over 280 crore to build, and 12 other projects totalling over 180 crore.
Dedicated railways are connecting Kushinagar with other Buddhist destinations for Indians and foreigners interested in pilgrimage or religious tourism. The Uttar Pradesh chief minister will be present at the event, and he and the Prime Minister are expected to address a rally in the region following.
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