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Varanasi to get Bhutanese Buddha temple soon


The city where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon and rolled the wheel of dhamma is all set to also get a Bhutanese temple dedicated to him.

A proposal to this effect was submitted by the Bhutanese government to the Union Tourism and Culture Ministry several years ago.

As per the arrangement, the Uttar Pradesh government will provide land to the Bhutanese government on behalf of India while the latter will build the temple and guest house.

Pilgrims from Bhutan visit Varanasi frequently. Even members of the ruling royal family have paid a visit to the place on more than two occasions in the past few years.

Buddhism is the official religion of Bhutan with more than 85 per cent people following it. Their school of Buddhist thought is related to the Tibetan course.

“Initially, they wanted a piece of land in Sarnath — one of the world’s most revered Buddhist pilgrimage spots. However, the place is already saturated. Therefore, the project was stuck in limbo,” official sources said.

Expressing unhappiness over the matter, the Union Ministry asked the local administration to suggest an alternative place.

The local administration suggested two acres of land in Pindra tehsil. The said spot is very close to the Babatpur Airport in Varanasi and the Bhutanese representatives have also agreed to it.

Allocation of the said land was approved by the state cabinet in November 2021. However, subsequent procedures were delayed because of the state elections.

The project picked up pace recently and now the procedure of the land’s transfer has begun. State tourism department officials said that the land would be provided on a lease of 30 years at a token amount of Rs 10 and an annual rent of one rupee.

“Relevant orders have been issued and paperwork for transfer of land on the lease is underway,” said officials, adding that the work of hand-over of the land would be finalised in a few weeks.

Source: IANS