The idea of a temple was proposed by the Chinese in 2003 when then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Luoyang. He promptly accepted the idea, realising the importance of a Buddhist shrine as a means for people-to-people contact.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit in 2008. The temple is ready for dedication May 27 as India and China celebrate 60 years of diplomatic ties.
India has provided technical, financial and other support for the temple that stands on a 6,000 sq metre plot provided by the Chinese government.
The construction task was assigned to New Delhi-based architects Akshaya Jain and Raka Chakravarty, who won an architectural design competition organised by the Ministry of External Affairs. Assisted by Kshitij Jain, the duo kept in mind that the design was to draw inspiration from the Sanchi Stupa with an idol of the seated Buddha in the preaching posture.
Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh is known for its Stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. The most famous of these monuments, the Sanchi Stupa, was originally built by emperor Asoka.