The famous Buddhist sites in Lalitagiri, Udayagiri and Ratnagiri in Jajpur district of the state are fit to get the status of World Heritage Sites like Sun Temple of Konark. The government has already prepared an ambitious master plan to develop Buddhist sites in Jajpur district as a tourist hub to attract more foreign and domestic travellers. Jajpur district has a special place on the World Buddhist spots, added Mishra.
The basic objective of the international conference is to create awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and to promote tourism.
The ancient Buddhist sites of Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh , where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon, Buddhist monastery in Sanchi of Madhya Pradesh , Buddhagaya In Bihar ,Buddhist caves in Ajanta and Ellora find places on UNESCO ‘s World Heritage List . The success of this conference will pave the way to declare these sites in Odisha as World Heritage sites. The district administration stopped illegal quarrying in these sites , added Mishra.
Many Buddhist scholars of other states and countries are unaware of the rich Buddhist heritage of our state and this conference will be useful for them to know about the historic Buddhist sites of Odisha, added Mishra.
Addressing the conference Dr Sunil Patnaik the secretary of the government run Odisha Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies(OIMSEAS) termed these areas as treasure houses of history that is just waiting for the arrival of large numbers of tourists. Visitors can travel through this Buddhist Circuit in a very economic package to savour splendid beauty and great appeal of Buddhism.
At least 230 noted Buddhist scholars including 65 from around the ten countries attended the International Buddhist conclave at Udayagiri. The culture and tourism department of the state is organizing the conference to attract more tourists, researchers to the Buddhist sites of the state . All the delegates will visit the famous Buddhist sites of Udayagiri, Ratnagiri, Lalitagiri, Langudi, Kaima and other places of Jajpur district during their three day long
stay in Udayagiri.
The conference was addressed by the collector Ranjan Das, Arati Ahuja the secretary of tourism depart and others.