Indian-style Buddhist shrine to be built in China

by Anil K Joseph, New Kerala, April 28, 2006

Beijing, China -- An Indian-style Buddhist shrine, the first of its kind in China, would soon emerge in Luoyang, the cradle of Chinese Buddhism, as symbol of friendship between the two countries.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the shirne, to be jointly constructed by the Governments of India and China, was held yesterday by the side of the Bai Ma (White Horse) temple in Luoyang, in central China's Henan province.

Speaking on the occasion, Indian Ambassador to China Nalin Surie said the event was "doubly special" since it was being held in the 'Year of India-China Friendship'.

"It is no coincidence that our two countries have decided to jointly build the first Indian style Buddhist shrine in the People's Republic of China in the Bai Ma Si Complex reportedly the first Buddhist temple in China," he said.

"For us in India the construction of the shrine is an act of faith; an act of restoring and reviving an ancient contact that was most productive, creative and to mutual benefit," Surie said.

The Ambassador said the construction of the shrine adds a new chapter to bilateral cultural relations in modern times. It would help carry forward India-China Buddhist cultural traditions and promote exchanges and cooperation between our two countries, he said.