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Buddhist Circuit final draft awaiting government’s nod



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By Binu Shrestha
Kathmandu, Dec. 27: The Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) has recently completed the final draft of the Buddhist Circuit of Nepal.
The draft has been prepared linking the country’s Buddhist heritage sites- from the mountainous and hilly areas to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha.
Under the circuit, the LDT has developed nine sacred pilgrimage and culture trails connecting the outstanding Buddhist sites associated with the birth and life of Lord Buddha.
Om Mane Padme Hum Circuit, Dolpo, Buddhist and Bon Heritage Circuit, Greater Lumbini Buddhist Circuit, Lumbini-Lo Kingdom Buddhist Circuit, the Tsum-Nubri Valley Sacred Kyimolung Circuit, Nepal Mandala Buddhist Circuit, Maratika (Haleshi)-Sailung-Timal Padmasambhava Meditation Cave Circuit and Everest- Rolwaling Sacred Beyul Circuit have been recommended by the LDT for their inclusion in the circuit.
The final draft will be made public by the Prime Minister, said Gyani Rai, chief of Liaison Office of Lumbini Development Trust in Kathmandu.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has to endorse the final draft first for the implementation of the draft of the Buddhist Circuit in Nepal, he informed.
Rai further said that travel agencies have to plan to bring a package programme to promote the circuit among the visitors, especially the Buddhist followers.
Om Mane Padme Hum Circuit connects the world’s two most sacred and revered pilgrimage sites and spiritual places- Lumbini and Mount Kailash (in Tibet).
The circuit connects some historically and spirituality significant Buddhist viharas, stupas, stone pillars, caves, monasteries and the sacred valleys- Surkhet (Kakre-Vihara), Dailekh, Dullu, Mamma, Sinja, Rara, Simkot, Yalbang monastery, Limi Valley, Hilsa and Mansarovar.
Dolpo Buddhist and Bon Heritage Circuit connect the rare areas in the Himalayas where Bon and Buddhists have long existed side by side.
Greater Lumbini Buddhist Circuit connects four major Buddhist sacred sites- Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Ramgrama and Devadaha.
Lumbini- Lo Kingdom Buddhist Circuit connects Lumbini, the sacred birthplace of Sakyamuni Buddha and other previous Buddhas with the Lo Kingdom, the Trans- Himalayan region.
Thini, Muktinath, Rangchyung Cave Chhorten, the significant monasteries that include Thubten Shedrup Dhargyeling Monastery, Jhampa Lhekhang Monastery and the Thubchhen Lakhang Monastery are also connected to this circuit.
The Tsum-Nubri Valley Sacred Kyimolung Circuit connects Padmasambhava’s Beyul Kyimolung (means of stream of happiness) and other historical monuments.
The circuit is expanded over the Tsum, Kutang and Nubri Valley of upper Gorkha.
Nepal Mandala Buddhist Circuit connects Buddhist heritage sites of the Kathmandu Valley. It broadly demarcates the four major sacred power places- Nagarjuna/Jamacho, Siphucho (Shivapuri), Phucho( Phulchowk) and Dhinacho (Chandragiri) and its surroundings.
Maratika (Haleshi)-Sailung-Timal Padmasambhava Meditation Cave Circuit connects perfected meditation caves and foot-prints of great Buddhist Tantric master Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche).
It links rocky cave of Maratika (Haleshi), Timal area (Kavre) Sailung area, Charighang, Bhimeshwor and others.
The Everest- Rolwaling Sacred Beyul Circuit connects the perfected meditation caves of the great Tantric master Padmasambhava and Yogi Milerepa.