Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, inaugurated the Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh, which will provide connectivity to eight key Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site and is believed to be the final resting place of the Gautama Buddha. It is also at the centre of a key Buddhist tourist circuit, which includes Lumbini, Sarnath and Ayodhya.

An inaugural flight of Sri Lankan Airlines landed at the airport earlier in the day, bringing a large contingent of Buddhist monks and Sri Lankan Ministers, including Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, nephew of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

This will be U.P.’s ninth airport, seven of which have been developed in the past seven years alone. The State will get 11 more airports in the years to come, including two international ones, U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said.

“With the launch of this airport, I, as a representative of Poorvanchal, have also fulfilled one of my commitments to this region,” Mr Modi said.

The airport will see scheduled commercial flights from November when SpiceJet is likely to launch four weekly flights. In December, the airport will also be connected to Mumbai and Kolkata.

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