At the 22nd Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State yesterday in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Varanasi was chosen as the first-ever Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Tourism and Cultural Capital for 2022-2023. SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital Varanasi will promote tourism, cultural and humanitarian exchanges between India and SCO member countries, according to the Indian External Affairs Ministry.
Furthermore, the selection emphasizes the ancient civilizational connections between India and the countries of the SCO, especially those in Central Asia. A number of cultural events will be held in Varanasi during the period 2022-23 as part of this major cultural outreach program. SCO members will be invited to participate. Indologists, scholars, authors, musicians, artists, photographers, and travel bloggers are expected to attend these events.