Home » News » India » Modi in Nepal: India to have Buddhism Centre in Lumbini Monastic Zone; Know Its Significance
2-MIN READ

Modi in Nepal: India to have Buddhism Centre in Lumbini Monastic Zone; Know Its Significance

PM Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba during the  foundation ceremony of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage, in Lumbini on Monday. (Image: PTI Photo/@MEAIndia ON TWITTER)

PM Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba during the foundation ceremony of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage, in Lumbini on Monday. (Image: PTI Photo/@MEAIndia ON TWITTER)

India was not represented in the monastic zone for over three decades despite being one of the main centres of Buddhism in the world

India will join 14 other countries in the Lumbini Monastic Zone, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for an international centre for Buddhism in Nepal on Monday. The initiative to establish the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini, which is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, assumes significance as India was not represented in the monastic zone despite being one of the main centres of Buddhism in the world.

Now, India will be represented alongside Thailand, Canada, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Singapore, France, Germany, Japan, Vietnam, Austria, China, South Korea and the United States.

Approved in 1978, under the Lumbini Master Plan of the Nepal government, the monastic zone was established as a place for housing Buddhist monasteries and projects from different denominations and countries. Over the past three decades, while many countries sought and received land within the zone, India remained out.

Time, too, was running out as only two plots were vacant as per the original master plan. But, under the Modi-led central government, the issue was raised at the highest level with Nepal.

After constant follow-ups and efforts from both governments, in November 2021, the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) allocated a plot to the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) to build a project. This was followed by a detailed agreement between the two entities in March and the land was then formally leased to the IBC.

Once completed, the centre will be a world-class facility welcoming pilgrims and tourists from all over the world to enjoy the essence of spiritual aspects of Buddhism. It will have a unique design with seven external layers to symbolise the seven steps taken by Buddha soon after his birth.

The centre will house prayer rooms, meditation halls, library, auditorium, meeting rooms, cafeteria, and accommodation for visiting monks. It will have the latest technology and be NetZero compliant in terms of energy, water and waste management.

All in all, it will showcase India’s Buddhist heritage as well as technological prowess. “Taking forward our cultural ties. PM @narendramodi and PM @SherBDeuba perform Shilanyas ceremony of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage,” tweeted ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

After the shilanyaas ceremony, which was performed by monks belonging to three major Buddhist traditions, Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, the two prime ministers also unveiled a model of the centre.

Prime Minister Modi is on a day’s visit to Lumbini for bilateral talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. The two leaders discussed ways to strengthen ongoing cooperation and develop new areas in the multifaceted bilateral partnership.

Read all the Latest News , Breaking News and IPL 2022 Live Updates here.

first published:May 16, 2022, 16:23 IST