A total of 108 South Korean Buddhist pilgrims will walk over 1,100 km over 43 days from 9 February as part of a walking pilgrimage being organised by the Sangwol Society of South Korea, Apruva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, announced today.
The occasion was important as India and South Korea celebrate 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties, he said, adding the pilgrimage aimed to increase friendship and collaboration between the two countries. The tourists will visit Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India and subsequently move to Nepal.
Chandra further stated that it was the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Buddhist tourism circuit in India be taken to the world. ”The circuit seeks to help tourists experience first-hand the teachings of Lord Buddha and traces the footsteps of Buddha during his lifetime. The sites to be covered during the pilgrimage span the life of Buddha from his birth to his Parinirvana,” he added.
The Secretary welcomed the pilgrims and assured all assistance from the Government of India and hoped that the pilgrims would gain a deeper understanding of Buddhist philosophy from this visit.
With the slogan ‘Oh, We! Oh, Love! Oh, Life!‘, the pilgrimage would spread Buddhist culture of devotional activities through a pilgrimage to India where the life and footsteps of the Buddha are preserved.
Ambassador of Korea to India Chang Jae-bok said the year 2023 was special for bilateral relations between the countries as they celebrated this historic milestone of 50 years of diplomatic relations.
This occasion coincides with India’s G20 Presidency and South Korea was committed to India’s success at G20, he added. The Ambassador further remarked that Buddhist teachings were similar to the motto of India’s G20 presidency ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.