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Nagpur’s iconic Buddhist sites that enthral tourists from all over the world
by Rishabh Deb, Times of India, Jun 11, 2016
Nagpur, India -- In an effort to put Nagpur on the tourism map, guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has proposed a plan called 'Buddhist Tourism Circuit', which aims to give fillip to tourism in city. The project includes beautification of popular Buddhist sites and their improved ambience. In the light of this announcement by the minister, we explore city's top five Buddhist destinations and discover what draws tourists to these iconic places...
What to explore: Known as the 'Lotus Temple of Nagpur', the Dragon Palace Temple is surrounded by verdant greens, skillfully landscaped gardens with beautiful flowers. Situated in Kamptee, the temple is about 15 km from the city and was founded by social activist Sulekha Kumbhare.
Architectural delight: Spread over 10 acres, Dragon Palace Temple comprises a magnificent Buddhist prayer centre, which exudes peace and serenity to its visitors. Enshrined on the first floor of the meditation hall of the temple is a colossal statue of Lord Buddha. The idol is said to have been carved out of a single block of sandalwood.
Discover its charm: If you happen to visit the temple during the meditation hours, then you can see monks meditating. It is an ideal place for those looking for some peace and want to de-stress.
Architectural delight: Designed by architect Sheo Dan Mal, the stupa of Deekshabhoomi is the largest hollow stupa among all Buddhist stupas in the world. At the centre of this hall inside, a large image of Buddha is placed here, which was donated by Thai students.
Discover its charm: In front of the stupa there is a bronze image of Lord Buddha and a Bodhi Tree (a sacred tree). This Bodhi Tree was planted here from three branches of the Bodhi Trees at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka.
What to explore: Around 20km from Nagpur in Chicholi village, Shantivan is a small museum dedicated to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's belongings and artefact. The place has the statute of Lord Buddha in front of which Dr Ambedkar took his diksha. You can explore this serene and peaceful place and discover its history.
Architectural delight: The museum was developed by Dr Ambedkar's close associate Wamanrao Godbole. Although the hall of the museum is comparatively small, the place is frequented by thousands of tourists because of its significance. The design is typically inspired by Buddhist architecture and was renovated recently.
Discover its charm: The most attractive feature of the museum are the clothes of Dr BR Ambedkar, his books and other equipment like his typewriter, which are displayed here.
What to explore: Dhamma Naga is situated at the bank of a small lake in Mahurzari village just 18 km from Nagpur. The centre is dedicated to ancient techniques of meditation including Vipassana. The place is ideal for those looking to spend a peaceful and quiet time. The centre also provides accommodation.
Architectural delight: The meditation building is situated overlooking a small lake and the architecture is inspired by Tibetan style.
Discover its charm: There's a Japanese garden inside the centre and a beautiful bronze statue of Lord Buddha right in the middle of the garden where monks meditate.
Vishwadeep Buddha Vihar
What to explore : Spend some time at the small Buddha temple and explore the beautiful rose garden. Located on Kamptee-Jabalpur road, this place has a calm and peaceful aura. People visit this place to enjoy best views of sunset and spend some quiet time.
Architectural delight : The architecture of this temple is inspired by Thai monastery. There's a statue of Lord Buddha right in the garden which is the centre of attraction.
Discover its charm : Stand in the balcony of the meditation hall to enjoy a captivating sight of sunset overlooking the statue of Lord Buddha and the rose garden.