Thai team to promote Kesariya Buddhist Stupa

by Pranava K Chaudhary, TNN, August 19, 2009

PATNA, India -- The spread of swine flu across India notwithstanding, more than 30 Thai visitors including travel operators, hotel magnates and travel
writers arrived here on a week long promotional tour of Buddhist circuit in Bihar, UP and Nepal.

As many as 32 Thais, including MDs of several travel trade organisations such as Mekong World Holidays, World Indochina Company, Charoon Tour Company Limited, Explore Asia Company Limited, TKT Eco Tour, Sun Park Holiday and Nature Trek Company, arrived here on Monday night.

The visiting Thai team aims to promote the site of longest Buddhist stupa at Kesariya in East Champaran and other Bihari products at the forthcoming trade fair at Bangkok on September 6.

"This time, we have decided to promote Kesariya Buddhist site which is less popular than Rajgir, Vaishali and Nalanda. Despite the spread of swine flu, we have managed to arrange a trip of Thai people to Buddhist circuit," said assistant DG, India tourism, GOI, Sanjay Sreevats.

All members of the Thai visiting team will promote Buddhist site Kesariya and Bihari products like Madhubani paintings and handicrafts at the forthcoming trade meet at Bangkok next month, Sreevats told TOI.

Kesariya Buddhist Stupa at Kesariya is located in East Champaran district approximately at a distance of 150 km from Patna. This magnificent stupa is believed to date back to somewhere around 200 AD to 750 AD. The giant stupa of 104 feet, marks the death of Lord Buddha.

In 1998, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had explored this beautiful stupa. The circumference of the stupa is 1,400 feet. The amazing stupa serves as a splendid example of Buddhist architecture and archaeological preservation.

"We are excited to visit Kesariya Buddhist site. We have heard a lot about it and I believe this is the longest stupa in the world," said World of Indochina Company MD Uprachong.

All members of the visiting team were touched while receiving gifts like the statue of Lord Buddha and Madhubani painting (on Tasar silk) on their arrival in Patna. "The traditional welcome ceremony -- offering `tilak' on their forehead -- was one of the highlights on Monday night here at a posh hotel," said Jataka Travels MD Sushil Singh who has arranged their itinerary.