Buddhavanam gets a boost

Buddhavanam gets a boost
Highlights

The Buddhavanam project which is progressing at a snail’s pace, has got a thrust with the appointment of Mallepally Lakshmaiah as its Special Officer. The State government has also sanctioned Rs 60 lakh for the project to speed up the works.

Nalgonda: The Buddhavanam project which is progressing at a snail’s pace, has got a thrust with the appointment of Mallepally Lakshmaiah as its Special Officer. The State government has also sanctioned Rs 60 lakh for the project to speed up the works.

The project was taken up eight years ago at Nagarjuna Sagar, the world’s largest masonry dam built across Krishna river, with an aim to attract Buddhist tourists from all over the world. But it is still not completed due to non-allocation of adequate funds by the successive governments.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao who held the Telangana Rashtra Samithi political training camp at Nagarjuna Sagar in 2015, vowed to develop it as a major Buddhist centre in the world. The Centre allocated Rs 36 crore in two phases for the project taken up in 279 acres of land. Replicas of 13 Aramas of major Buddhist countries, including five from that of India, were built as part of the project. Construction of a Maha Stupa to facilitate 2,000 people to perform Dhyana at once is under way.

The project is being developed in eight components, including Buddha Charita Vanam, Jataka Park, Dhyanavanam, Stupa Park, Buddhist Study Centre, Krishna Valley Park and Buddhism in Telugu States. Only three of the eight components of the project have been completed so far. A huge idol of Buddha was set up at Buddhavanam.

The idol brought from Sri Lanka, has become a major attraction. According to sources, Rs 30 crore more is needed for the total completion of the project. A plan of action is likely to be implemented to complete the project at the earliest. According to historical evidence, Buddha Purnima celebrations were held in Telangana about 15 centuries ago.

Nagarjuna Sagar project attracts about 2,000 tourists a day. The number of tourists visiting the multipurpose project is more on holidays and weekends. Nagarjunakonda is a famous Buddhist centre. A relic of Goutham Buddha was kept in the museum atop Nagarjunakonda.

About 20,000 Buddhists from all over the world visit Nagarjunakonda every year. The Dalai Lama also visited the place twice. The number of foreign tourists visiting Nagarjuna Sagar will go up steeply with the completion of the Buddhavanam project.

By:B Ashok

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