Lumbini Festival concludes
Visakhapatnam, May 7: The two-day Lumbini festival held at Thotlakonda, about 15 km here, concluded on Monday. The district administration has announced that it would make efforts to develop Thotlakonda into a major Buddhist centre in the State.
District collector J S V Prasad, who was the chief guest at the seminar on "Possibilities and challenges in the development of tourism in Buddhist heritage sites" held on the occasion, said the government had agreed to spend Rs 100 crore during the current financial year to promote tourism on the beach road on which the Buddhist heritage centres like Thotlakonda, Bavikonda and Pavuralakonda are located.
The response to the Lumbini festival was encouraging, he said adding that unemployed youth would be give training to work as guides at these heritage sites.
The government would provide basic infrastructural facilities like roads, power and water at these sites and would invite private participation to develop the tourism potential of these sites.
Andhra University Archaeology professor M Krishna Kumari suggested that a separate body should be created for the development of Thotlakonda and Bavikonda Buddhist centres. She also spoke on the historical importance of these sites and suggested that the government should take permanent measures to protect and develop these sites.
Vuda vice-chairman S B K Kishore and senior teachers of Andhra University and students participated in the seminar.
The two-day Lumbini festival has attracted a large number of tourists to the Buddhist spots strewn all around the port city. The festival was inaugurated on Sunday the Minister for Tourism E Peddi Reddy. Several Buddhist monks attended the festival.