Mahaparinirvan Buddhist Express reaches Odisha

Jajpur: The special Mahaparinirvan Buddhist Express, covering important Buddhist sites in the country, arrived at the Haridaspur railway station in  Jajpur district on Tuesday on its maiden journey.
The 83 passengers comprising tourists, tour operators, Buddhist monks, artists and journalists, were taken to Lalitgiri, about 35-km from the railway station, by three buses, provided by the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation.
"I am overwhelmed to see such magnificent and beautiful treasures of Buddhism," said Phillippe, a tourist from Indonesia.
"Words fail to express such inherent beauty embedded in the historical structures at Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri in Jajpur," the tourist who visited the sites with the others, said.
Of the tourists, 16 were from Thailand, Indonesia and France.
The Mahaparinirvan Express seven night and eight day tour is a joint effort by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation and OTDC, with the state government hopeful of immense response.
"We hope these tourists and travel and tourism operators who have visited these sites in the state, especially in Jajpur are impressed and will certainly publicise them internationally. This initiative will lead to tourists coming from all parts of the world," OTDC assistant manager Ratikanta Patnaik said.