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PM Modi to launch work on Buddhist centre in Lumbini

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the construction of the ‘India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage’ on Monday during a daylong visit to Lumbini in Nepal. The visit will coincide with the celebrations to mark the Buddha Jayanti.

Lumbini is the place where Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born around 623 B.C.. He later attained enlightenment at Bodhgaya in Bihar district and came to be known as the Buddha.

Mr. Modi will participate in the shilanyas [foundation stone laying] ceremony for the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage and offer prayers at the Mayadevi temple that is dedicated to the mother of the Buddha. He will also deliver an address at a Buddha Jayanti event organised by the Lumbini Development Trust of the government of Nepal.

Zero emission building

An official press release has informed that the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage will be undertaken by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), which is a ‘grantee body’ under the Ministry of Culture. The IBC was registered on November 2, 2012 and is aimed at propagating and preserving the teachings and heritage of the Buddha across the world, and especially in India’s immediate neighbourhood. The official statement from India said the Buddhist centre would be the first ‘net zero emission’ building in Nepal.

Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is scheduled to participate in the event in Lumbini. Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra had informed earlier that Mr. Modi gifted a sapling of the Mahabodhi tree of Bodhgaya to the Mayadevi temple. Both sides will hold a delegation-level talk after the ceremonies. The two Prime Ministers will "build on their productive conversations in Delhi, with a view to further expanding our shared understanding and cooperation in multiple areas, including in hydropower development, partnership and connectivity," said Mr. Kwatra during a briefing last Friday.

Buddha Jayanti will also be celebrated by the IBC in Delhi on Monday where the event will be led by Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju. "IBC has been actively involved in engaging Buddhist organisations in Nepal and has a strong relationship with several senior Buddhist monks," stated the official press release.

Mr. Modi's visit to Lumbini comes two days after Nepal began the local election process across the country that will ultimately lead to the general election towards the end of the year.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2022 7:38:43 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pm-modi-to-launch-work-on-buddhist-centre-in-lumbini/article65416367.ece