President opens first phase of model Shyakya Janapada

President Maithripala Sirisena declared open the first phase of the model Shyakya Janapada, built in Kahapola, Piliyandala yesterday.

This has been built as a model of the places related to Buddha’s life in India. This includes the models of other places of religious value in India.

The President opened the first phase of this Shyakya Janapada in line with the United Nations’ International Day of Vesak.

This model Shyakaya Janapada has been built on 78 acres of land at a cost of Rs. 500 million. It comprises the palace of Shuddodhana, the three palaces of Prince Siddhartha, Lumbini (the place of Prince Siddhartha’s birth), Buddhagaya (the place where Siddhartha Gauthama achieved enlightenment), Kusinara (the place of Buddha’s parinibbana), Isipathanaramaya (the place where Buddha’s first dhamma sermon was delivered) and other places related to Buddha’s life.

In addition, a fully-equipped Buddhist centre, Buddhist library, e-libraries, meditation centres, vegetarian restaurants, leisure halls and car parks will be arranged in the premises.

The President, who opened the first phase by unveiling the plaque, planted a sal sapling in the model Lumbini sal garden.

Archaeologist Vasantha Bidari, who monitored the building of the project, offered the book ‘Asirimath Lumbiniya’ to the President at this occasion. The President offered souvenirs to Bidari and Prof. Nimal De Silva, who provided advice for this project. He also offered souvenirs to several other contributors to this project.

President Sirisena visited the exhibition cell in the Shyakya Janapada and observed the dansala within the premises.

Ven. Thrikunamalaye Ananda Nayaka Thero, Registrar of the Samastha Lanka Shasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya Ven. Gonaduwe Gunananda Nayaka Thero, the Maha Sanga represented countries including Nepal, Bhutan, China and Singapore, ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Deputy Minister Sarathi Dushmantha Mithrapala, Kesbewa Organiser Niroshan Padukka, Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana Chandraprema Gamage and the Chairman of the Asia Light Foundation Naveen Gunarathne were among those who participated in this occasion.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/614727/President-opens-first-phase-of-model-Shyakya-Janapada#sthash.fuWLqhxa.dpuf

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