Bhutanese Temple Honoring Lord Buddha to Grace Lucknow

The Buddhist Channel, 16 Aug 2023

LUCKNOW, India -- In a significant development that further deepens the spiritual ties between Bhutan and India, a Bhutanese temple dedicated to Lord Buddha is set to grace the city of Lucknow.

This announcement follows a proposal submitted by the Bhutanese government to the Union Ministry of Tourism and Culture several years ago, aiming to commemorate the city where Lord Buddha delivered his inaugural sermon and set the wheel of dhamma in motion.

According to the proposal, the Bhutanese government sought the collaboration of Uttar Pradesh to allocate land for the temple, while India would take on the responsibility of constructing the temple and a guest house. This partnership signifies the strong bond between the two nations and their shared reverence for Buddhist heritage.

Notably, Varanasi has been a frequent destination for Bhutanese pilgrims, including visits from members of the royal family on multiple occasions over recent years. Bhutan, where Buddhism is the official religion, boasts an overwhelming 85% of its populace following the faith, with a Buddhist doctrine closely tied to the Tibetan tradition.

Originally, the Bhutanese authorities had expressed interest in a parcel of land in Sarnath, a globally revered Buddhist pilgrimage site. However, due to the saturation of the area, the project faced a standstill. The Union Ministry, dissatisfied with this delay, prompted the local administration to propose an alternative location.

Insiders revealed that the local administration recommended a two-acre plot in the Pindra tehsil, situated in close proximity to the Babatpur Airport in Varanasi. Bhutanese representatives concurred with this proposal. The allocation of this land was sanctioned by the state cabinet in November 2021, although subsequent procedures were hindered by state elections.

Recently, the project regained momentum in Uttar Pradesh, and the land transfer process is now underway. Officials from the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department disclosed that the land would be leased for a period of 30 years, with a nominal fee of Rs 10 and an annual rent of one rupee. "The necessary orders have been issued, and the paperwork for the land lease is currently in progress," officials stated, asserting that the finalization of the land handover would be accomplished within the next few weeks.

This forthcoming Bhutanese temple in Lucknow stands as a testament to the enduring spiritual and cultural bonds shared between Bhutan and India, reinforcing their commitment to preserving and celebrating the teachings of Lord Buddha.
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