According to news reports, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has embarked on an ambitious plan to put Ladakh on the Pilgrim Tourism circuit in view of large number of Buddhist monasteries in the region, the PTI reported. “State government is planning to restore existing monasteries in the region, hire landscaping experts, set up tourism centres and provide basic road infrastructure in the region to woo Buddhist pilgrims from around the globe,” Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Minister for Tourism, Government of J&K said last week. “A detailed project report of Rs 150 crore has been submitted to the Centre for developing tourism circuit in the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” Mir added.
Out of this fund, Rs 50 crore has been earmarked for developing a Buddhist circuit in Ladakh, while the remaining will be spent on encouraging Sufi Tourism circuit in Kashmir and pilgrimage centres in Jammu, he said.
Keeping in view the increase in flow of tourists to Ladakh every year, the government plans to have facilities like tourist centres not only in the main city, but also in places which hold tourists’ interests like monasteries and areas around the banks of Indus river, the Tourism Minister said.
“The centres will guide tourists, provide them information and also cater to their needs,” he said adding, last year around 1.79 lakh tourists visited the region of which over 30,000 were foreigners.