After Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially inaugurated the new Kushinagar International Airport on Wednesday (October 20), it became one of the main talking points for a number of reasons. Kushinagar remains an important place in the Buddhist religion as it was here where Gautam Buddha delivered his very last sermon and attained Mahaparinirvana in 483 BC.
After his demise, Gautam Buddha was cremated in the town which made it one of the holy places that are visited by Buddhists from all over the globe. Kushinagar is also known for the 'Mahaparinirvana Stupa' where a reclining statue of Buddha is established and positioned right above the place he was put to rest.
With the inauguration of the Kushinagar International Airport, it will now provide seamless connectivity to tourists visiting India from all over the globe to visit Buddhist circuits in the country.
Tourists from Sri Lanka, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Nepal Vietnam, Singapore, etc. come to India every year to visit places like Sarnath, Gaya and Lumbini which is a part of the Buddhist circuit. Now, this new airport in Kushinagar will provide far better and easier connectivity to those tourists.
Here's How India's Neighbouring Nations Reacted
Ambassador of Thailand Pattarat Hongtong stated that lots of Thai tourists come to India every year to visit the Buddhist pilgrimage sites and that this new international airport will make it much easier for them.
"Wonderful development, it will give opportunity for Buddhist nations to come conveniently to the most sacred place where Lord Buddha entered into Parinirvana. It will make Buddhist Circuit tourism convenient," Major General Vetsop Namgyel, Bhutan's Ambassador to India was quoted as saying by ANI.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief of Mission, the Japanese Embassy in India, Toshihide Ando said that it will help tourism between India and other countries. "India-Japan has deep cultural ties, Buddhism came to Japan from India, we're strategic and special partners. I hope cultural ties will be further strengthened," he stated.
"Wonderful development, it'll give opportunity for Buddhist nations to come conveniently to the most sacred place where Lord Buddha entered into parinirvana. It'll make Buddhist Circuit tourism convenient," Maj Gen Vetsop Namgyel, Bhutan's Ambassador to India said.
Namal Rajapaksa Lauds PM Modi's Gesture To Strengthen Buddhist Ties
On October 19, Namal took to Twitter and said: "Yet another historic milestone for #indolanka relations as 100 Buddhist monks embark on the inaugural flight to #Kushinagar on the invitation of HE @narendramodi for the opening of the Kushinagar International Airport! @IndiainSL".
Sri Lanka's Cabinet Minister Namal Rajapaksa, who is in India currently, also expressed his thoughts at the inauguration event and thanked PM Modi for "extending a grant of 15 million dollars to Sri Lanka to strengthen the Buddhist ties between our two nations".