Ayurveda drawing distant Lithuanians to India

New Delhi, Dec 7 (Inditop.com) Like the neighbouring Russians, Lithuanians are flocking to India. Lured first by the sun kissed beaches of Goa and now by the goodness of ayurveda in Kerala, there has been a sudden jump in the inflow of tourists from this tiny Baltic state.

Rajinder Kumar Chaudhary, honorary consul of India to Lithuania, says in the past one year, more than 7,000 Lithuanians have visited India, with ayurveda being one of the main attractions.

Lithuania is no stranger to this form of alternative healing that is native to the Indian subcontinent and has spread its wings to different parts of the world.

Chaudhary said given its popularity, there are a number of ayurvedic therapy centres that have opened up in that country.

“Ayurvedic therapies are in great demand in Lithuania. However, people there now want to soak in the goodness of ayurvedic therapies and massage in the place where it all evolved. So they are now travelling to Kerala to experience it,” Chaudhary told Inditop.

Earlier, one of the most important tourist attactions in India for the Lithuanians was Goa.

“Goa and now Kerala are attracting Lithuanians to India. In the past one year, we have had nearly 7,000 Lithuanians travelling to India. While this may not seem like a big number, it is so considering that we had 300-400 Lithuanian tourists coming here earlier and that it is a small country,” Chaudhary told Inditop.

Lithuania is one of the three Baltic states – the others being Estonia and Latvia – with a population of 3.5 million. It was a part of the former Soviet Union and gained independence in 1990.

Even as Lithuanians are discovering India, the trend is true the other way around too.

“The Baltic states are relatively new on the Indian tourist’s map. Nevertheless, more and more Indians are now travelling to that part of the world in search of something new and taking a break from the same old places,” Chaudhary said.

“We have had two Bollywood film crew coming over for shooting and two others from the southern Indian film industry. Lithuania has a beautiful landscape, palaces, old world churches, lakes and a port that never freezes – and people outside are slowly discovering its beauty,” he added.

The Lithuanian foreign minister, Vygaudas Usackas, who was in India for an official visit said he would want both the countries to have close business collaborations in a number of fields – tourism being one of them.

“Lithuania is the European capital of culture. That’s why we want more Indians to visit us and vice versa,” Usackas told IANS.

“Also now that we have an embassy here – Lithuania is the first Baltic state to have an embassy here – the visa process for businessmen and others have become a lot easier,” Chaudhary added.