'Shanti Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival' kicked off at Vijayawada's Swaraj Maidan on Saturday. More than 1,000 monks from various countries including like South Korea, China, Myanmar, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia are expected to participate in the festival. The three-day-long festival is being organised by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism department. Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department Corporation Limited Chairman Professor V. Jayarami Reddy and Krishna District Collector B Lakshmikantham inaugurated the event that is aimed at promoting Buddhist locations across the state. Andhra Pradesh is home to more than 200 important Buddhist sites dating back to the 3rd Century B.C. and is an important centre for pilgrimage and related studies.