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Patnaik Goes All Out To Promote Buddhist Tourism Using State Funds As Centre Not Providing Any

The astute chief minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik is leaving no stones unturned to transform the state.  So be it the economy, sports, culture or religion all areas and sectors are given equal importance. His latest focus is promoting Buddhist Tourism so as to attract both domestic and foreign tourists to Odisha. This drive will boost local employment and support stone artisans famous for carving Buddha murals.  Come October 28, Odisha will celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Dhauli Shanti Stupa also known as Peace Pagoda located in outskirts Bhubaneswar. It is estimated that 150 monks from different parts of the world would join the celebration. The Dhauli Buddhist Stupa built in 1972 was a collaborative effort between Japan Buddha Sangha and Kalinga Buddha Sangha. But, why is the Odisha government going all out to promote Buddhist Tourism? Reportedly, Patnaik is upset that Odisha despite having a rich heritage of Buddhism dating from 6th century to 16th century, spread over 200 sites across the state, was not included as a Buddhist Circuit Project funded by the Union Government. Instead it gave preference to other neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh. Instead of whining Patnaik thought it prudent to build up Buddhist  circuit tourism through state funds. It is understood that the Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan who hails from Odisha has urged the Union Culture Minister to include Odisha in the Buddhist circuit list. Now one has to wait and watch.