The first-ever Indo-Nepal Motor Rally from Odisha to the Nepalese capital will kickstart next week, linking key Buddhist cities in the two countries to boost “spiritual” and “adventure” tourism.
The rally will begin on February 27 and will conclude in Delhi on March 8, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae told mediapersons here.
The rally - aimed at promoting nature, culture and adventure tourism - would be instrumental in strengthening people-to-people contact between the two countries, said Rae.
The rally will link Jagannath, Puri and Pashupatinath as well as sister cities Bodhgaya and Lumbini, highlighting age-old cultural and civilisational links between Nepal and India, he pointed out.
The rally will see participation of around 110 people in 30 cars which will cover a total distance of 2,500 km in 10 days. 25 vehicles from India and five vehicles from Nepal will take part in the rally.
“The event also aims to give tremendous impetus to tourism, both spiritual and adventure tourism in both the countries.
“This venture also attaches great importance to the Buddhist trail, linking Bodhgaya, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment with Lumbini in Nepal, where Lord Buddha was born,” remarked Rae.
The rally will open up new avenues of tourism in both the countries by encouraging young travellers of the two countries to each other’s territories through the land route, he pointed out.
The Nepal-India Motor Vehicle Agreement signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal during the 18th SAARC Summit has helped promote tourism between the two countries through land route, Rae said.
Three Nepalese motor drivers today embarked towards Puri to take part in the rally.
The motor rally will enter Nepal at Jogbani customs point at Biratnagar on March 2 and will halt at the picturesque town of Dharan before embarking to Dhulikhel, another scenic town situated in the east of Kathmandu famous for its mountain views.
The rally will reach here on March 4, marking the end of its first leg. On March 5, the second leg of the motor rally will be flagged off by Rae and Nepal’s Minister for Youth and Sports Purushottam Paudel.
It will then pass through the beautiful cities of Pokhara, Lumbini and Dhangadhi before reaching Delhi on March 8.
The rally is being jointly organised by Kalinga Motor Sports Club, Bhubaneswar and Nepal Automobile Sports Association with support from the Indian Embassy here and the Nepal government.