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Picturesque tourist sites and places having historical and religious significance in different parts of Eastern Bihar districts remained jam-packed with New Year’s revelers despite the fact that government has yet not introduced basic tourist facilities at the places. The half-excavated site of Vikramshila Buddha Mahavihara, the ancient world University today witnessed more than 60 thousand strong mobs of visitors.
Located some 41 Km east of Bhagalpur district headquarters, the ancient seat of learning has long been neglected and even included neither in Buddha circuit nor in the world heritage sites of UNESCO. The world varsity in the time of the Pala dynasty which is pioneer of establishing Lamaism headed by Dalai Lama today, has its importance among the followers of Buddhism in the world. The working place of Dipanker Srighyan Atisha who also born at Bhagalpur, Vikramshila is very sacred place for the Buddhists. Hundreds of followers regularly visit the place but the government yet not realize the relevance of the place in terms of its tourism potentiality.
The enthusiastic visitors while ignoring all the hurdles today assembled at the half-excavated site of Vikramshila. The hurdles like no proper road connectivity along with non-availability of public transportation system, lack of any basic tourist facilities including drinking water crisis, people willing come over all their troubles while visiting Vikramshila.
“We are surprised to witness the huge gathering today, it is unexpected,” said a staff of archaeological survey of India (ASI). Really it was a tough time for the ASI personnel for controlling the mob particularly at the ASI’s museum located inside the campus of the half-excavated site of Vikramshila. “People mostly outsiders came here for observing the archaeological remains inside the museum. Former President of India, Pranav Kumar Mukherjee who visited Vikramshila on May 2016 was highly appreciated the rare collections in the museum,” the ASI man recalled.
Members of Vikramshila Nagrik Samity, a body which has been fighting for the cause of facilitation of this unique treasure of history like Nalanda or the places attached with Gautam Buddha in India, alleged government specially Bihar government for ignoring Vikramshila. “We have been fighting for the central varsity here which earlier in 2015 announced by the central government. Bihar government yet not finalized the land for the proposed central varsity here,” alleged N K Jaisawal, the convener of the society.
Many claimed here that if Vikramshila would be attached in Buddha circuit, the fate of Bhagalpur easily could be changed with the flow of tourists across from the world. “Vikramshila should be treated like Nalanda or Bodh Gaya. But we are surprised why government yet not included it in Buddha circuit despite the fact that Gautam Buddha visited this place during his visit to Champa (the ancient kingdom of Anga) and Vikramshila has been playing an important role in surviving Buddhism in the world,” said Pradeep Kumar, a social activist at Kahalgaon.
“One could easily imagine the importance of Vikramshila while observing not only today’s gathering but the increasing numbers of visitors including foreigners here,” admitted a senior ranking official at Bhagalpur today. The official on condition of anonymity also admitted the step-motherly attitude of the state government which subsequently blocked developments for this ancient world University. He even claimed that Vikramshila only has the potentiality to generate huge revenue from tourism sector.