Tilaurakot, where Siddhartha Gautam spent his early years, ignored in Visit Nepal Year 2020 publicity campaignsTilaurakot was omitted in the publicity programmes by mistake, says Lumbini Development Trust.
Visit Nepal Year 2020 is less than a month away and to make it a success, various publicity programmes have been launched in and outside the country. However, a historic destination Tilaurakot, in Kapilvastu, has been left out of all publicity campaigns and preparedness efforts, according to the District Coordination Committee in Kapilvastu.
“Tilaurakot is a significant part of Nepal’s history because this was where Siddartha Gautam spent 29 years of his life before he chose the path of enlightenment,” said Narayan Khanal, chief of the District Coordination Committee in Kapilvastu. “This place has always fallen under the authorities’ radar. But for Visit Nepal Year 2020, Tilaurakot has been left out of published materials for Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign.”
Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Nepal Tourism Board and the Visit Year Secretariat have not included photos of Tilaurakot in posters, pamphlets, brochures and booklets that they published, says Khanal. “More than 500 photos of various spots in the country have been uploaded in the official Facebook page of Visit Nepal Year 2020 but that of Tilaurakot is conspicuously missing,” he said.
A joint team of archaeologists from Durham University in the United Kingdom, along with members from the Department of Archaeology and Lumbini Development Trust have been carrying out excavation work of Tilaurakot for the past six years. During the excavation, it was found that there was a human settlement in the Tilaurakot area in the 8th century BC highlighting the historical significance this city carries.
Rajesh Gyawali, a member of the Lumbini Development Trust, said that Tilaurakot was omitted in the publicity programmes by mistake. “We have already asked Nepal Tourism Board and other authorities concerned authorities to include Tilaurakot in the publicity materials. They will hopefully address our request soon,” he added.
Raj Kumar Yadav, a local tour guide of Tilaurakot, expressed his displeasure for ignoring the historic place in the publicity campaign. “Tilaurakot sees the second-highest number of visitors to the district after Lumbini, yet it is one of the most neglected places, ” said Yadav.
“It is unfortunate that Tilaurakot hasn’t been promoted for Visit Nepal Year 2020. The authorities should correct this and include Tilaurakot in the publicity materials,” said Brijesh Kumar Gupta, a federal lawmaker from Tilaurakot. He said that he raised the issue in the House of Representatives but that it went unheard.
Besides Tilaurakot, there are several other historically and archaeologically important places in Kapilvastu. Nigrodham, where Gautam Buddha first met his parents after his enlightenment, is also located in the district.
“Tilaurakot is the Shakyamuni capital and it deserves publicity and promotion but that hasn’t happened,” said Kiran Singh, mayor of Kapilvastu Municipality.