The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is placing the small coastal town of Nalasopara higher up on its tourism offerings, by developing Nalasopara the centre of Maharashtra Tourism’s ‘Buddhist Circuit’. MTDC has decided to commence the circuit from this town.
“We chose the stupa in Nalasopara because it’s from here that Emperor Asoka’s son, Mahendra and daughter, Sanghamitra are believed to have left for Sri Lanka to spread the faith,” said Dr Jagdish Patil, Managing Director, MTDC.
In a major boost for the Maharashtra tourism, Centre approves Rs78-crore financial assistance for enhancing tourism infrastructure in the state. It came after a series of meetings between Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi and State Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal.
“We had submitted a comprehensive tourism development proposal to the Centre for aid. Four key proposals have been approved and the state has received the first instalment of the aid. We will complete all the projects in the stipulated period,” Bhujbal said.
A senior bureaucrat in the state revealed that the Centre had asked the state government to set up a monitoring committee, led by the tourism secretary and an implementing agency to monitor the physical and financial progress of the project.
l then continue to Chaityabhoomi in Dadar, Pagoda in Gorai, and other Buddhist destinations, and will conclude at Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur. The initiative will help in promoting Buddhist Spiritual Tourism in the state.
Maharashtra government has recently launched electronic kiosk at various location of Mumbai and across to state to make available relevant information of popular tourist locations to visitors.
The machines, which are touch-screen, were inaugurated by Chief Secretary JK Banthia and Jagdish Patil, Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
Banthia said that 300 such kiosks will soon be set up at various tourist destinations, government offices, railway stations and airports in Maharashtra. Within Mumbai, the kiosks will be put at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Dadar, domestic and international airports, Sanjay Gandhi National Park etc.
“The kiosks are touch screen and user friendly giving away all important information about the tourist destinations in English and Marathi. It also enables to book the MTDC resorts and railway tickets,” said an official.