Lumbini (Nepal): Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday laid the foundation stone for a technologically-advanced India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini, Lord Buddha’s birthplace here.
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, projecting India’s growing soft power.
Taking forward our cultural ties. PM @narendramodi and PM @SherBDeuba perform Shilanyas ceremony of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Twitter.
The centre is being built at the initiative of the International Buddhist Confederation, New Delhi, he said.
Prime Minister Modi said that the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone will be an important centre for learning and cultural exchanges between India and Nepal.
“Honoured to have performed the Shilanyas for the Centre with PM @SherBDeuba, Modi said on Twitter.
Most importantly, the Centre will strengthen the shared bond of Buddhism between India and Nepal. It will also further popularise the teachings and noble ideals of Lord Buddha, he said in another tweet.
It will be a modern building, NetZero compliant in terms of energy, water and waste handling, and will house prayer halls, meditation centres, library, exhibition hall, cafeteria, offices and other amenities, the MEA said in a statement.
The Centre will be constructed by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), New Delhi, on a plot allocated to the IBC by the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), under an agreement between the IBC and the LDT signed in March 2022, it said.
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.
According to official sources, the significance of Prime Minister Modi laying the foundation stone of the Centre was that India, despite being one of the main centres of Buddhism in the world, had no centre or project in Lumbini. —PTI