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Odisha wants its Buddhist circuit in tourism scheme

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Bhubaneswar: A recommendation to include the Buddhist circuit of Odisha in the Swadesh Darshan scheme announced by the union ministry of tourism was made by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday.

In a letter to union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma, the chief minister said the Buddhist Triangle — popularly known as the Diamond Triangle of Odisha, comprising of Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Udyagiri — deserves to be included in the list of Buddhist circuits under the new scheme.

“Buddhist remains in the form of chaityas, stupas, monasteries and the tooth relic in the golden casket found here aptly establish this circuit at par with other major sites in India. The socio-cultural life of early and medieval Odisha is reflected in the cultural art of these Buddhist monuments,” said Patnaik.

He said it is a well-established fact that Buddhism spread to rest of the world after the great Kalinga war waged by Emperor Ashoka in Odisha.

The chief minister said these Buddhist destinations would be improved with adequate tourism infrastructure with their inclusion in the scheme.

Archaeological exploration and excavations have unearthed more than 200 Buddhist sites across the state, he added.

(IANS)

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Wildlife at Risk Due to Mass Tourism: Biologists

A report, titled "The Value of Wildlife Tourism around Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan for Wildlife Conservation and Local Communities", was also released

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Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary. Wikimedia

Renowned conservation biologist Raghu Chundawat on Friday said tourists travelling in large numbers to the forests in India is a threat to the wildlife and ecosystem as most of the tourists are “not responsible”.

Speaking on the sidelines of “TOFTigers Sustaining the Wildlife”, Chundawat said: “Mass tourism generates huge amounts of money to governments, but at the same time it also has negative impacts and threat to the wildlife and ecosystem of the forests.”

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Sunderbans Tiger reserve, India. Wikimedia Commons

“Now there is a rapid increase of wildlife-based mass tourism specially on the weekends… This ruins the habitat, as some visitors throw garbage which consist more of plastic.”

Chundawat’s pioneering 10-year research on the Panna tigers was immortalised by BBC in the documentary — “Tigers of the Emerald Forest”.

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Common Crane bird at Kutch

The conservation biologist said that loss of habitat is another issue that impacts tiger conservation. The big cat’s habitat is now limited to “seven per cent of its original range”, he said.

Also Read: India to Host UN Global Wildlife Conference in 2020

A report, titled “The Value of Wildlife Tourism around Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan for Wildlife Conservation and Local Communities”, centering India’s poor record with sustainable tourism practices in and around wildlife reserves, was also released on the occasion. (IANS)

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