MTDC to make State wellness, Bollywood tourism hub

The Global Vipassana Pagoda, Gorai: One of the seven wonders of Maharashtra

Focus on city’s rich Buddhist tradition and circuits to make it an ideal destination for tourists interested in spirituality

MUMBAI: To promote tourism in different sectors in the State, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is collaborating with various institutions as part of its Mahabhraman initiative.

MTDC is looking to boost tourism in areas such as agriculture, food, villages, education, and Bollywood. MTDC is associating with Nitin Chandrakant Desai Studio’s Film World, a Bollywood theme park at Karjat, to give tourists an experience of the Hindi film industry. The tour would include visits to film sets and setting up of an Artists of Talent Street, which will provide a platform for budding artists to showcase their skills.

Vijay Waghmare, managing director, MTDC said, “The aim is to motivate artists in the State to promote art and culture, and support them in presenting their artwork.”

Swati Kale, general manager, MTDC, said, “We will also be starting a Mobile Talent Street by associating with ND Studio. As the name suggests it will be positioned at different locations all over the city. We also have plans to execute the Artists of Talent Street on Worli Sea Face and at the Ballard Festival. Kala Ghoda will also be a platform for visitors to discover unseen treasures in different art forms.”

The MTDC is also looking to promote wellness tourism in the State by collaborating with the Global Vipassana Pagoda in Gorai. Through this agreement, MTDC aims to focus on Mumbai’s rich Buddhist tradition and make the city an ideal destination for tourists interested in spirituality.

MTDC will be promoting wellness tourism through Buddhist circuits in and around Mumbai such as the coastal area of Nalasopara, Chaityabhoomi in Dadar, the Mandapeshwar Caves in Borivali, the Kanheri Caves in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and the Elephanta Caves off the Mumbai coast.

An MTDC release said, “The initiative will encourage movement towards Buddhist circuits, which are the spiritual homes where Lord Buddha was born, taught, preached and attained nirvana. In 2014, the Union Ministry announced plans to develop new circuits to cover routes of important Buddhist destinations. The Global Vipassana Pagoda focusses on a form of meditation based on the systematic investigation of the self.”

The pagoda’s large dome can accommodate 8,000 visitors in one sitting and a tour of the site includes visit to the main pagoda, the bodhi tree, Ashoka Pillar, the library and art gallery. At present, the pagoda runs a 10-day course on the purification of the mind.

State Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal said, “I am certain that this step will draw attention to Buddha’s journey and self-discovery and entice visitors from other friendly nations including Japan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand to visit the State and boost tourism.”

Mr. Waghmare said, “We are pleased to create new Buddhist circuits to attract tourists from around the globe and develop India’s financial capital as a spiritual and wellness hub.”

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