Planned Ramayana Circuit to Boost Cultural Tourism in Southeast Asia

Ramayana circuit, a tourist circuit initiated by the Government of India, aims to encourage religious and other cultural tourism by connecting destinations associated with the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana.

The initiative was raised by Indian Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade at the inauguration ceremony of the India-funded Mural Painting Conservation and Restoration Project at Raja Bo Pagoda in Siem Reap provincial city this morning.

Under this project, she added, India intends to create a tourist circuit connecting key Ramayana sites in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Indonesia. India believes that by promoting the Ramayana circuit, increased tourism will provide job opportunities and develop cultural interchange among the participating countries.

Wat Raja Bo pagoda is one of the oldest pagodas in Siem Reap province, and has a number of Ramayana mural paintings on walls that describe the famous ancient story of Rama and Sita. However, H.E. Ambassador said, with the passage of time, environmental factors and human activities have caused the Ramayana murals to deteriorate. The Government of India, in collaboration with the Royal Government of Cambodia, took this project as a priority. The financial agreement for the conservation of mural paintings was signed on Nov. 12, 2022, during the visit of India’s Vice-President, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar.

H.E. Dr. Phoeurng Sackona, Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts who presided over the event, stated that both countries aspire to breathe new life into Raja Wat Bo, this conservation will preserve the historical significance of Ramayana and also will promote cultural understanding between the two nations as Ramayana has connected India and Cambodia since ancient times.

On the occasion, an MoU on Training and Workshop on Museum Management and Textiles Conservation at Mekong Ganga Asian Traditional Textile Museum was also signed.

The Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Asian Traditional Textiles Museum was opened in April 2014. Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam are the member countries involved in this museum, which features a brief overview of traditional textiles from the two river cultures. Both the Ganga and the Mekong are Civilisation Rivers, and the MGC initiative aims to facilitate closer contact among the people inhabiting these two major river basins.

This training and workshop on Museum management and Textile conservation programme will increase the skills of staff, which will help the museum to be an excellent interpretation centre to ensure the visitor a better understanding through state-of-the-art technologies.

Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse