Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Nepal on Monday, autographed a sketch depicting him and Buddha as he was received by the Indian community in Lumbini. Modi began his visit by offering prayers at the sacred Maya Devi temple here on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, accompanied by his counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Modi and Deuba on later performed the shilanyaas ceremony for the construction of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone here.
The Centre will be constructed by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), New Delhi, on a plot allocated to IBC by the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), under an agreement between IBC and LDT signed in March 2022, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
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, he said. 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 be a modern building, NetZero compliant in terms of energy, water and waste handling, and will house prayer halls, meditation centers, library, exhibition hall, cafeteria, offices and other amenities, the MEA added.
Lumbini, located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal, is one of the holiest places of Buddhism, as Lord Buddha was born there. During the visit, he will deliver an address at the Buddha Jayanti celebrations organised by the Lumbini Development Trust.