India to facilitate pilgrimage walk by 108 Buddhists from South Korea

The walk will start from Sarnath in Varanasi on February 9 and culminate at Shravasti after traversing through Nepal

February 06, 2023 07:26 pm | Updated 08:58 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Famous Buddhist pilgrim site at Sarnath in Varanasi. File

Famous Buddhist pilgrim site at Sarnath in Varanasi. File | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Union government, in close coordination with the State governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, will facilitate a pilgrimage walk by 108 nationals of the Republic of Korea across Buddhist sites in the two States.

As part of the event, organised by Sangwol Society, the pilgrims will walk close to 1,200 km over 43 days in India and Nepal beginning February 9. It will start from Sarnath in Varanasi and culminate at Shravasti after traversing through Nepal.

Information & Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra on Monday said the occasion gained significance as India and South Korea celebrated 50 years of establishment of diplomatic ties. The pilgrimage aims to increase friendship and collaboration between the two countries.

Stating that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision that the Buddhist tourism circuit in India be taken to the world, Mr. Chandra said the circuit sought to help the tourists experience first hand the teachings of Lord Buddha and trace the footsteps of Buddha during his lifetime. The sites to be covered during the pilgrimage will give insights to the tourists on the life of Buddha from his birth to his Parinirvana.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India, Chang Jae-bok, said 2023 was special for the bilateral relation between the countries as the two celebrated the milestone of 50 years of diplomatic relations.

“This occasion coincides with India’s G-20 Presidency and South Korea is committed to India’s success at G-20” he said, adding that Buddhist teachings were similar to the motto of India’s G-20 Presidency “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.

Speaking on the religious ties between the two countries, the Ambassador said it evoked a strong emotion and generated immense goodwill among the people of the two countries, fuelling the bilateral relation. He said the walking pilgrimage was being hosted by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

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