Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has planted a Bodhi tree sapling in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar ahead of Abhidhamma Day at the Mahaparinirvana temple.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and state Governor Anandiben Patel were also present here. The Prime Minister also offered 'Archana' (prayer) and 'Chivar' to the reclining statue of Lord Buddha and after that presented a 'Chivar' to Buddhist Monks at the opening of the event.
Abhidhamma Day symbolises the end of a three-month rainy retreat - 'Varshavaas' or 'Vassa' - for the Buddhist Monks. They stay at one place in vihara and monastery and pray. The event will also be attended by eminent Monks from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, South Korea, Nepal, Bhutan and Cambodia, and ambassadors of various countries.
According to the Indian Culture Ministry release, the event's highlight is the exposition of Holy Buddha Relic brought from Waskaduwa Sri Subuddhi Rajvihara Temple, Sri Lanka, by the Mahanayaka of the temple.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on October 20, has also inaugurated Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh.
Indian Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries were also present at the ceremony.
Kushinagar Airport is located near several Buddhist Cultural Sites like Sravasti, Kapilvastu, Lumbini. Declaration as an "International Airport" will offer improved connectivity and a wider choice of competitive costs to air travellers. It will result in boosting domestic/international tourism and economic development of the regions.
The inauguration of the Kushinagar International Airport will be marked by the landing of the inaugural flight at the airport from Colombo, Sri Lanka, carrying a Sri Lankan delegation of over a hundred Buddhist Monks and dignitaries, including the 12-member Holy Relic entourage bringing the Holy Buddha Relics for Exposition.