Buddhavanam to be made tourist destination

The Buddhavanam Project built in 90 acres of the total 274-acre expanse has scope for development

The Buddhavanam Project built in 90 acres of the total 274-acre expanse has scope for development

The state government has plans to develop Buddhavanam, the Buddhist heritage theme park at Nagarjunasagar, into a world Buddhist tourist destination with all grand features to evoke one’s wonder and admiration, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development KT Rama Rao said on Saturday.

The Buddhavanam Project built in 90 acres of the total 274-acre expanse has scope for development, and through separate allocation of funds more amenities and arrangements will be made possible, he said.

Mr. Rama Rao, along with a contingent of his Cabinet colleagues, flew to Nagarjunasagar in Nalgonda district on Saturday to inaugurate Buddhavanam, among other facilities in the adjoining municipalities.

Ministers Mohammed Mahmood Ali, G. Jagadish Reddy, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Sabita Indra Reddy, Srinivas Goud and Malla Reddy joined Buddhist monks and special officer M. Lakshmaiah to unveil the inauguration plaque.

They interacted with monks, offered prayers at the Buddha’s feet, inspected the Buddha Charitha Vanam, the museum, sculpture installations, life history and phases of Buddha in stone-carved panels.

Mr. Rama Rao was amazed at the construction of the monumental dome and stupas congratulated the sculptors, workers and the brains behind Buddhavanam.

Speaking at the center, he said India was fortunate that Buddha was born here, and through his teachings the disciples and students had spread the Dhamma. Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, too has a profound heritage of Buddhism evident through Nagarjunakonda, Phanigiri in Suryapet, Nelakondapalli in Khammam, Dhuli Katta in Karimnagar, he said.

Development of all Buddha’s institutions and centers, Mr. Rama Rao said, will be done so as to attract Buddhist followers from all the countries.

As part of the continuous development, a three-kilometer cycling track will be built on the Buddhavanam radius, proposals to set up a Buddhist university will be examined, and inviting prominent leaders, monks and ambassadors, including the Dalai Lama, will be taken up.

Mr. Rama Rao also instructed the district administration to develop Chakali Gattu island as tourism attraction, for proposals on repair and restoration works at Buddhist sites, on exploring public-private partnership models to develop the project as part of the Buddhist circuit heritage tourism.

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