ETW Staff – Mumbai
Maharashtra can soon have a Buddhist monastery and research centre which may come up at the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora with the help of South Korean government. The proposal was mooted by Maharashtra Tourism in a meeting with the South Korean delegation which was in the city.
South Korea has already partnered with the government of Maharashtra and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for various infrastructure projects. Both governments are now looking at newer ties in the area of promoting tourism.
Sumit Mullick, additional chief secretary, Government of Maharashtra, along with officials from Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) had a joint discussion with the representatives from South Korea.
Mullick said, “Both countries have long history of mutual cooperation. Maharashtra has many tourist destinations which are also prominent for Buddhists. The World Heritage Sites like Ajanta and Ellora have a great significance for Buddhists. South Korea may further bring the richness of Buddhism by setting up Buddhist monastery and research centres at Ajanta and Ellora. Maharashtra government may even provide land near the sites and necessary support for the same.”
The delegation has shown keen interest in the proposal and further suggested that medical tourism can make a win-win situation for both countries, as people in South Korea and other neighbouring countries are majorly going for lifestyle treatments like plastic surgeries. The delegation said if Maharashtra can design some packages focusing on medical tourism specifically for plastic surgeries, the state might benefit a lot as the medical expenses in India are cost effective.