India — Buddha park ready
Thursday 20 May 2010
The construction of the Buddha Memorial Park, which has attracted attention from across the Buddhist world, is nearing completion.
Preparations are afoot to extend a red carpet welcome to the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who will inaugurate it on May 27.
Holy relics of Siddhartha Gautam Buddha from Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) have already arrived here to be kept at the Rs 125-crore park, coming up on 22 acres at the site where the Bankipore jail once stood.
Adjacent to the Patna junction railway station and barely 7km from the Jaiprakash Narayan Airport, the park — a brainchild of chief minister Nitish Kumar — is located right in the heart of the Bihar capital on Frazer Road.
Besides a giant statue of Gautam Buddha, the park will have a large meditation hall where over 1,000 devotees can meditate simultaneously.
Delegates from Sri Lanka, Japan, Myanmar and Thailand have consented to attend the function. Visitors from over 40 countries from across the world had converged to see and hear the Dalai Lama delivering his world peace discourse at Bodh Gaya in January.
Apparently attracted by the huge following of the Tibetan spiritual leader across the world, Nitish went to Dharamshala in February to invite him to inaugurate the Budd ha Park here.
“Who can be better suited than his Holiness the Dalai Lama to inaugurate the Buddha Park ?” Nitish said.
Nitish — working hard to improve Bihar’s potential to attract international tourists — envisioned to develop Patna, as a site for Buddhists from across the world in 2006.
“The Buddha Memorial Park is a reflection to that vision,” urban development secretary Girish Shankar said.
Patna is 155km from Bodh Gaya where Siddhartha Gautam attained enlightenment and became Buddha (enlightened). Bodh Gaya already attracts a huge number of visitors from across the Buddhist and non-Buddhist world.
The administration has worked out a foolproof security arrangement at the time of the Dalai Lama’s visit, director-general of police Neelmani said.
Author : NALIN VERMA
Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com