Monday, February 22, 2010


As we have been discussing in the past many posts, a master plan was in the works with the help of the community and on 22nd October we had the opportunity to make a presentation to honorable Chief Minister of Bihar state, Shri Nitish Kumar. The presentation mainly focused on the historical and archeological gems scattered throughout Nalanda and the potential it holds for the community to benefit from tourism and make it a sustainable source of livelihood.

Picture1: During the presentation on 22nd October 2009
It was a great opportunity to be able to share our detailed plan with a person who was in a position to make direct impact to the lives of many others. The presentation was a virtual journey that the CM took with us and he was intrigued enough to explore the possibilities of the area and planned a six day trip to visit the sites discussed in the presentation.

The interest that Shri Nitish Kumar showed and the initiative that he took was remarkable and on many notes similar to the one that king Ashok must have taken to popularize the pilgrimage and now in the modern world as we realize how much we have left behind in the past, this is an effort to revive the pilgrimage and brush away the dirt accumulated over the footsteps of Buddha over the course of history.

The presentation must have ignited something in Mr. Nitish Kumar’s spirit as the first thing that he uttered after landing at Rajgriha was, ‘ …we have come here to revive the old Buddhist pilgrimage path and work on the action plan prepared by Nava Nalanda Mahavihara’.
It was great honor for us and the community who had helped us put it together that our work was acknowledged and is now being chosen to be carried forward by experts in the field. Such recognition would allow more communities to take the initiative.
He further added that the government is going to set up a “Bihar Virasat Vikas Samiti” which will prepare a detailed action plan for the protection and preservation of the heritage of Bihar and study scope of tourism development through the heritage.

Picture 2: CM's arrival at Rajgriha
The CM spent almost a week visiting the remote and not yet popular archeological sites, he met with the experts and the local community to chart out a route so that the infrastructure that the community needs could be provided, new possibilities could be explored and the pride and heritage of Nalanda is restored.
Picture 3: CM and his team visiting the new facilities for tourists at Hot water springs

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