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PM Modi to throw open Kushinagar airport for international Budhist pilgrims with first flight from Colombo

PM Modi will visit UP tomorrow (October 20) and inaugurate the Kushinagar International Airport

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kushinagar International Airport in UP on Wednesday (October 20) to give a big boost to the Budhist pilgrimage circuit starting with the first flight arriving from Colombo carrying 125 dignitaries and Budhist monks from Sri Lanka.

Direct aviation connectivity will make it easier for tourists arriving from Sri Lanka, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam and  Singapore to reach Kushinagar and experience the rich heritage of the region. Tourism inflow is expected to rise by up to 20% with the inauguration of the flight.

The Airports Authority of India has developed the Kushinagar Airport with new terminal building spread across 3600 sqm, at an estimated cost of Rs 260 crore in association with Govt. of Uttar Pradesh considering the demand of the domestic and international visitors and pilgrimage. The new terminal is equipped to handle 300 passengers during peak hours. 

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Kushinagar is an International Buddhist Pilgrimage Centre, where Lord Gautam Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. It is also the centre point of the Buddhist circuit, which consists of pilgrimage sites at Lumbini, Sarnath and Gaya. The airport will help in attracting more followers of Buddhism from home and abroad to Kushinagar and will enhance the development of Buddhist theme based circuit.

The Kushinagar International Airport will not only put the pilgrimage site on the international aviation map but also give a boost to the economic development of the region. It will have a multiplier effect on the hospitality industry by promoting hotel business, tourism agencies and restaurants. It will create employment for local people by opening the immense amount of opportunities in feeder transport services and local guides.

The airport will also boost the opportunities for export of horticultural products like banana, strawberries and mushrooms that are grown in the surrounding region.