Kushinagar: Known for Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha received International Airport today as a gift from PM Modi

Kushinagar Airport received slot queries from Buddhist South East Asian countries

NEW DELHI: On Wednesday, October 10 2021, PM Modi gifted Kushinagar, UP its first International Airport. Kushinagar is that place where Gautama Buddha achieved “Mahaparinirvana” (Mahaparinibban in Buddhism) and the place where he achieved it emerged as a pilgrimage for the Buddhists around the world. Also, the first flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka touched down today at the airport bringing a delegation of 100 Buddhist monks and dignitaries including the 12-member Holy Relic entourage to the inauguration place.

PM Modi participated in the event known as Abhidhamma day at Mahaparinirvana Temple. The temple is world-famous for the reclining statue of Lord Buddha. There, he offered Archana and Chivar to the Lord and thereafter planted a Bodhi tree sapling. The Abhidhamma day symbolizes the end of a 3-month rainy retreat or Vassa (in Buddhism) during which the monks stay at one place in the Vihara and offer prayers. The monks of Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia attended the function along with Ambassadors of various countries.

The delegation also has Anunayakas (deputy’s heads) of Asgiriya, Amarapura, Ramana, Malwatta (four Nikatas or orders of Buddhism in Sri Lanka) along with five ministers of the Sri Lankan Government led by the cabinet minister Namal Rajapakshe.

After that, he attended a public function at Barwa Jangal, Kushinagar meant for the inauguration of the airport. The airport is built at a cost of Rs 260 crores. This will help facilitate domestic and international pilgrims to visit the temple and help in connecting all the Buddhist pilgrimage sites around the world. Also, it will act as an important step in boosting the investment and employment rates in the region. PM then, laid the foundation stones for the various development projects in Kushinagar. The 12-member Holy Relic entourage brought the Holy Relics of Buddha for exposition. Prime minister Modi will also have a look at the exhibition of Paintings of Ajanta frescos, Buddhist artifacts (excavated from Vadnagar and other sites in Gujarat) and Buddhist Sutra Calligraphy.

At the cost of Rs 280 crores, the foundation stones of Rajkiya Medical College, Kushinagar will be laid by PM. A 500-bed hospital will be in the college and admissions will be rolled out to 100 students in the MBBS in the session 2022-2023. The foundation stones of 12 other development projects costing over Rs 180 crores will be laid by him as well.

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