After Uttarakhand disaster, Nepal can be pilgrim haven

Panaji, Aug 6 : Nepal and its rich Hindu culture and ancient temples could serve as an alternative to flood-ravaged Uttarakhand, according to a leading Nepali tour and travel operator.

In Goa as part of a roadshow promoting Nepal, Bodha Raj Bhandari, chairman of the Nepal-based company Snowy Horizon, told IANS that Uttarakhand may be unable to handle tourist volumes in the coming year.

So Nepal may prove to be a good diversion of Indian religious tourists, he said Tuesday.

"Uttarakhand is still coping up with the disaster and will take time to rebuild. Therefore, Nepal, which adjoins the state, is rich in Hindu culture and tradition could be a great place for pilgrimage for Indians," Bhandari said.

Uttarakhand was hit by one of the worst floods in recent times, leaving thousands dead and causing extensive.

Nepal boasts of several popular temples and other important religious sites related to Hinduism and Buddhism.

The delegation of representatives from the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) as well as the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) are on a promotional tour in India.

NTB also pitched for Nepal as an ideal place for those interested in religious and spiritual tourism.

"Lumbini in Nepal is the birth place of the Buddha at Lumbini. Nepal is also called the abode of Shiva and the birthplace of Sita. The temple circuit in Nepal is culturally rich as well as ancient," said Uday Bhattarai, assistant manager of NTB.

Nepal attracts nearly than eight lakh tourists annually, and Indians account for nearly 30 percent of the air arrivals to the Himalayan state.

--IANS (Posted on 06-08-2013)

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