Construction Of India Centre For Buddhist Culture In Nepal Begins

The Buddhist Channel, 9 August 2023

Lumbini, Nepal -- The construction of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage (IICBCH) formally began at Lumbini in Nepal with the Bhoomi Pooja rituals on Sunday.

Attended by monks from different Buddhist nations, the 'Bhoomi Pooja' was performed at the Lumbini Monastic Zone, the birthplace of Gautam Budhha, the Light of Asia.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 2022 visit to Lumbini alongside then Nepali counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba had laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Buddhist Centre. A year later the formal process to start the construction of the state-of-art building with zero carbon emission kick-started on Sunday.

Venerable Dhammapiya, Secretary General of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) along with fellow monks took part in the 'Bhoomi Pooja'.

"We are very happy today that construction of the International Centre of Buddhist Culture and Heritage at Lumbini, Nepal is finally going to start. As we all know, the spiritual and cultural bond between India and Nepal goes back to 2,600 years," Mr Dhammapiya told ANI.

He added, "The main focus is friendship, harmony, and co-existence between the people of Nepal and India. We are grateful to the Government of Nepal and the people of Nepal and Buddhists of Nepal for giving us the opportunity to set up India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage".

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), New Delhi is overseeing the construction being done over the plot allocated by the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) under an agreement between IBC and LDT which was signed in March 2022.

"The India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage which is being built here in Lumbini. The birthplace of Lord Buddha is soon going to get a centre where all information relating to him will be available. This would further strengthen and deepen relation between nations. Also, it would play an active role in the promotion and preservation of the Buddhist Culture and tradition and I expect it to be the milestone," Dupten Jigdol, a member of the working committee of IBC told ANI.

Once completed, the centre will be a world-class facility welcoming pilgrims and tourists from all over the world to enjoy the essence of the spiritual aspects of Buddhism. The state-of-art building in the shape of a bloomed lotus will be a modern building, NetZero compliant in terms of energy, water and waste handling, and will house prayer halls, meditation centres, a library, an exhibition hall, a cafeteria, offices and other amenities.

Addressing the event, Venerable Metteyya Sakyaputta, the immediate Past-Vice President of the Lumbini Development Trust said, "Today the actual start of construction of India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage here in the sacred birthplace of Gutam Buddha within the Lumbini Masterplan zone takes us back to those eras".

"I strongly remember my service as the vice-chairman, when I tried to look back into the documents about the countries that have voted and supported that Lumbini should be developed as an international centre and as a global Buddhist village. Among the pile of documents, I found the early letter written by an Indian envoy strongly commending Uthan for proposing Lumbini as International Peace Centre. Almost seven decades later here we are, in this very land a beautiful site-symbolic lotus of the Buddha's teaching is going to be born here," he further said.

The "award of contract" for the project has been given to ACC-Gorakha, an Indo-Nepal Joint Venture company by International Buddhist Confederation. An estimated one billion Indian Rupees is expected to be incurred at the time of construction of the centre.
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