Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeNews ReportsUttar Pradesh: PM Modi inaugurates Kushinagar airport, delegation of monks from Sri Lanka brings...

Uttar Pradesh: PM Modi inaugurates Kushinagar airport, delegation of monks from Sri Lanka brings Buddha’s relics for the ceremony

Kushinagar airport is the 9th airport in Uttar Pradesh and is expected to boost tourism as it is an important place for Buddhists.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 20 inaugurated the Kushinagar international airport, Uttar Pradesh in the presence of a special Buddhist delegation from Sri Lanka and ambassadors of at least 10-15 countries where Buddhism is practiced and preached. 

While speaking at the inauguration, PM Modi expressed his happiness and satisfaction on the completion of the international airport. “Kushinagar International Airport is the result of decades of hopes & expectations. My happiness is two-fold today. As curious about the spiritual journey, I’ve a sense of satisfaction. As a representative of Purvanchal area, it is time for the fulfilment of a commitment,” said the PM.

He further informed that after Lucknow, Varanasi and Kushinagar, the development of yet another international airport in the district of Jewar is progressing at a good speed. PM Modi also said that in a bid to strengthen aviation, the government will launch eight new flying training schools. Kushinagar is the 9th airport in Uttar Pradesh.

A special delegation

The special delegation which comprises of anunayakas (deputy heads) of all four Nikatas (orders)- Asgiriya, Amarapura, Ramanya, Malwatta of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, as well as five ministers of the country’s government led by cabinet minister Namal Rajapakshe had departed from Sri Lanka to arrive for the inaugural ceremony in Uttar Pradesh early this morning.

The delegation arrived with the relics of Buddha accompanied by a 12-member Holy Relic entourage led by the current mahanayaka of the Waskaduwa Temple. 

Protocols followed to receive state guests were carried out to welcome Buddha’s relics from Sri Lanka. “All protocol associated with state guest will be followed. The relics will be welcomed by ‘Mahayana monks at the venue,” an official informed. 

The relics which had a special seat reserved on the Sri Lankan Airlines flight were received by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Inauguration of Kushinagar airport

The Kushinagar airport that has been built at an estimated cost of ₹260 crores will boost tourism on the Buddhist circuit and facilitate domestic and international travel to pilgrims visiting the ‘Mahaparinirvana’ site of Lord Buddha. 

Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar is said to be the place where Buddha left his mortal remains and achieved the supreme state of salvation or permanent bliss. Hence this temple is regarded as one of the most sacred shrines of Buddhists.

The international airport will also serve the nearby districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The project is being looked at as a crucial step in attracting investment and generating employment opportunities in the region.

Before heading for the inauguration, PM Modi will participate in an event marking Abhidhamma Day at the Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar. As per government officials, the PM will pay his respects to the reclining statue of Lord Buddha and will also plant a Bodhi tree sapling at the temple. 

Post-inauguration, Modi will be laying the foundation for several other developmental projects. This includes the Rajkiya Medical College, which will be built at a cost of over ₹280 crores, and 12 other developmental projects worth over ₹180 crores.

The event will also be attended by other eminent Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, South Korea, Nepal, Bhutan and Cambodia, as well as ambassadors of various countries.

Significance of Kushinagar

As per reports, archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India in 1898 had excavated a large mound in the estate of British landowner William Claxton Peppe in Piprahwa, in Uttar Pradesh’s Sidharthnagar district, 160 km away from Kushinagar.

A big stone box containing some caskets was recovered from the excavation. The inscription on one casket read, “Iyang saleela nidhane Budhasa bhagawathe sakiyanan sukithi bahathanan sabhagini kathan sasuna dalatha” which means “This noble deed of depositing of Buddha’s relics were carried out by the brothers, the sisters and the children of Sakyas.” 

“Thus, these relics are accepted as real (bone fragments, ashes, pieces of jewels of the Buddha,” informed an official. 

The Buddha relics obtained from this stupa were sent in parts to the kings of two countries- Thailand and Burma. While the third part was given to Sri Subhuthi Mahanayake Thero of the Waskaduwa Temple, Sri Lanka, who had helped the ASI team.

Especially for the event, a part of the relics embedded in three small lotuses encased in a crystal ball kept in a casket fixed on a wooden stand is being brought to Kushinagar for public exposition.

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -