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Tourism sector diversifies

Tourism in Bihar has gone beyond Buddha.

Bodhgaya, Nalanda and Rajgir — having Buddha connection — always occupied an important place in the global tourism map. They still draw foreign tourists in thousands. But the tourism in the state no more stops there. Now it has something for everyone.

Be it Buxar villages where black bucks roam around freely or Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) where Royal Bengal Tigers roar, the state has aplenty on its platter for tourists.

Visiting far-off places like Buxar or the VTR is no more a bumpy affair. Better roads have made the rides to these places a pleasure.

Improved law and order situation has also acted as a boost to the state tourism. Visitors are not afraid of venturing out of the city limits these days.

High speed jet ski or speedboat ride in the Ganga was a far-fetched dream till a few years ago. But all these are a reality now in Patna.

Yet, the Buddhist circuit takes the tourism cake. “Bihar has been visited by nearly 5.5 lakh foreign tourists in 2011, which is the highest for any state in the country. There is no sense of insecurity among the tourists because of the improved law and order situation in the state,” tourism minister Sunil Kumar said.

Karma, a lama haling from Tibet and currently staying in Dharamshala, hailed the claims of the tourism minister. On a trip to Bodhgaya, he told The Telegraph: “There has been a sea change in the conditions in Bihar over the past few years, the biggest one being the sense of security among tourists. Other facilities like roads and transportation have also improved drastically.”