Tourism industry in the Buddhist circuit is expanding rapidly and is in a very strong position to benefit the local communities, socially and economically, and to raise awareness and support for the conservation of the tangible and intangible heritage that Nalanda is bequeathed with.
Ancient ruins of Nalanda are spread in more than 200 acres of land and most of this lies outside the protected zone. There are more than 3000 households and 20,000 people living on the unexcavated Mound of ancient Nalanda University. Apart from remains of ancient Nalanda University there are many villages in the vicinity where one can find ancient remains. These scattered heritages are the basis of the present tourism and are the potential destinations were tourism could be explored eventually. The role of the community is very crucial for long term conservation of this heritage. In order to develop community based tourism products that the community considers most suitable, we need to give the community the opportunity to discuss and analyse opportunities and constraints.
Inspite of increased flow of the Visitors some issues are very apparent and needs attention,
• Length of the average stay of tourists is still about 1 hour at Nalanda Ruins and about a half day at Rajgir.
• Lack of standard and authentic interpretation material and tools
• Facilities for visitors
• Community interaction with the tourism is very limited and is stagnant for many years
• Community ownership for the place is not visible in the ambience
The present setup of tourism in and around Nalanda has very little for the community to participate directly and benefit from it. “NavaNalanda Sanskritik Gram” is conceived to promote the grassroots philosophy of maximum people’s participation, sustainability and its role as a facilitator whereby local people are involved in all aspects of conservation and developmental processes both as principal actors and prime beneficiaries from the growing tourism sector. This community based tourism initiative has been conceived to promote and preserve of rich cultural heritage of Nalanda. This heritage is the foundation of vibrant tourism and can provide sustainable livelihoods to the community.