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Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has urges inclusion of Odisha in Buddhist Circuit

Newdelhi:17/10/21: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought the personal intervention of Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy for inclusion of Odisha in Buddhist Circuit declared under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.

Pradhan, in a letter to Reddy, said: “It is unfortunate that Odisha, even with extremely rich Buddhist traditions and shrines, has not been included in the “Buddhist Circuit” nor any projects under the Scheme has been allocated to Buddhist Shrines in Odisha.”

Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Tourism Ministry sanctioned 5 projects of Rs 325.53 crore for Buddhist circuit development in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh.

During the 8th Century – 10th Century AD under Bhaumakara dynasty rule, Buddhism was considered a state religion of Odisha, informed the Minister.

In fact, it’s believed that the first disciples of Lord Buddha were Tapasu and Bhallika who hailed from the modern-day city of Jajpur, he added.

“Though Buddhism entered Odisha long before the Kalinga War it took wings in the region after the under the patronage of Emperor Ashoka. Odisha’s most famous poet Jayadeva went on to describe Lord Buddha as one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu in the 12th century AD,” said Pradhan.

The writings of fabled Chinese Traveler Hiuen T’sang just reinforce the glorious chapter of Buddhism in Odisha. The influence of Buddhism can be found in the socio-cultural life of the people of Odisha and rich depository of history is reflected in the Buddhist monuments of the state.

Various Buddhist sites and shrines in Odisha such as Dhaulagiri, Lalitagiri, Udayagiri, Ratnagiri and Jiranng draw huge number of international tourists, especially from East and South-east Asia and national tourists, especially from North-east, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh etc.

“However, the tourist facilities at these Buddhist holy places leaves much to be desired and lacking in essential tourist facilities such as connectivity, accommodation, utilities etc,” the Minister further added.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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