Rajgir: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday unveiled a 70-feet tall statue of Lord Buddha at the Ghora Katora Jheel in Rajgir making it the second largest Buddha statue in the nation.
Built at the cost of nearly Rs. 13-crore, the statue is made of 45,000 cubic foot pink sandstone brought from Chunar in Uttar Pradesh and is seated in the middle of the lake on a 16-metre radius pedestal.
The chief priest of the Mahabodhi Temple Bhante Chalinda presided over the religious ceremony in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, other NDA leaders, top government officials, and a host of Buddhist monks.
Prayers were also performed by the Japanese monk of Vishwa Shanti Stupa in Rajgir T Okanagi and monks from Tibet.
Kumar, who circled the statue on a boat, said that works are going on developing a world-class park around the lake to attract eco-tourism. Visitors will be allowed to come only on foot, bicycles, rickshaws, horse-buggies, etc. and battery-operated vehicles to keep the area pristine and without any human-caused pollution.
The Chief Minister further said that the state government has already okayed construction of a Gurudwara in the region as it is believed even Guru Nanak, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, had also visited the place and had prayed near Sheetal Kund.
Later in the evening, Kumar kicked off the annual 3-day Mahotsav in Rajgir.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS