Thailand presents precious relics of Buddha to Sikkim

By Ashok Chaurasia, The Organiser, Dec 15, 2008

Gangtok, Sikkim (India) -- Shri Somdet Phra Nayanasaamvara, the 19th supreme patriarch of the Kingdom of Thailand presented 13 precious relics of Lord Buddha collected from 13 different countries of which 8 are Buddhist countries, to Sikkim (India) for its historic project known as the Sakyamuni Project at Ralong of Ravangla sub-division of south district of Sikkim.

The relics were handed over by a high level delegation consisting of 33 monks headed by Shri Jamnian Chonsakhom Seelasetthi, the chief of the Thai monastery amidst a grand ceremony organised at New Karma Thekcheling complex. The relics were received by the Urban Development Minister of Sikkim Shri D.D. Bhutia and Goshir Gyattshab Rimpoche, the second head of Kagya sect after Karmapa. Thousands of monks, priests and devotees were present on the occasion, held on November 25, 2008.

The Sakyamuni Project is one of the most historic and adventurous project, launched by the Government of Sikkim under the chief patronship of Dr. Pawan Chamling, the hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim. ‘Sakyamuni’ in Newari language of Sakya dynasty means Lord Buddha. In order to keep alive the eternity, prosperity sanctity and stability of Buddhism in Sikkim the government has planned to build 148 feet high statue of Lord Buddha.

The relics from eight Buddhist countries along with the prominent monasteries of the world including Bodh Gaya (Bihar) will contribute in the construction of the Sakyamuni Project. In order to attract a large number of tourists and pilgrims from across the world, a beautiful eco-garden will be constructed for the growth and well-being of the area, informed the minister.

Shri Seelasetthi expressed his happiness and joy on the occasion saying this will help not only in building good relations between India and Thailand but will also help to increase the bilateral relation of India with other Buddhist countries. This will also add a lot in bringing the name of Sikkim on the world map of tourism.