Rupandehi, October 17:

More foreign tourists have visited Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, within the last few weeks.

“Within 11 days of this month, 2,600 foreign tourists visited Lumbini,” said Gyanin Rai, information officer at Lumbini Development Fund.

Talking to this daily, Rai said, “On a single day (October 9), a team of 725 Sri Lankan tourists visited here and worshiped in different temples.” The team, which arrived here through Indoleka Pilgrim Organisation, spent one night in Lumbini-based Mahabodhi society and returned back, Rai said.

Many tourists are visiting Lumbini to worship from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, among other Asian and European nations this year. September to February are regarded as

the best months for tourist arrivals in Lumbini.

According to a report, foreign tourists desire to visit Lumbini in winter season than in summer. The number of tourists here has increased this year compared to previous year. 2,770 tourists had visited Lumbini in September last year, while 3,700 tourists visited here in September this year.

According to the information department of the fund, altogether 43,831 tourists had visited

Lumbini in August last year while 59,481 tourists visited during August this year.

“In 2005, a total 39,792 foreign tourists visited Lumbini. This statistics does not include Indian and internal tourists,” said information officer, Rai.

The number of tourists has been increasing due to favourable situation in the nation, tourism entrepreneurs said.