Buddha relics to be placed at upcoming park

by Pranava K Chaudhary, TNN, Apr 24, 2010

PATNA, India -- Holy relics of Lord Buddha from Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Dharamsala (HP) would be placed at the upcoming `Buddha Smriti Park’ here next month.

The park, a dream project of chief minister Nitish Kumar, is to be located on the demolished Bankipore jail premises, spread over an area of 22 acres. The To cost approximately Rs 125 crore, it is likely to be inaugurated by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in May.

The state government is yet to decide whether Vaishali’s relic of Lord Buddha, considered the most authentic relic, would be placed in the park or not. The Vaishali relic is presently on display at the Patna Museum for public viewing.

CM Kumar had in February gone to Dharamsala. Besides taking blessings from the Dalai Lama, he had sought his advice on how to make the park a pious destination for Buddhists across the world.

Kumar has already made an announcement to shift the Vaishali relic of Lord Buddha from the museum to its original place in Vaishali. “We have not decided, as of now, to place the Vaishali relic at the park,” a senior government official said. “Vaishali’s holy relic cannot be divided into pieces as it would hurt the religious sentiments of Buddhist,” said an archaeologist.

The Vaishali relic was discovered during an excavation conducted by archaeologists A S Altekar and Sitaram Rai in 1958-62. “We have already disbursed a sum of Rs 22 lakh for acquiring a piece of land in Vaishali for setting up a relic museum,” state’s culture secretary Vivek Singh told TOI.