Education, Gallery, Karimnagar, National, Politics, Telangana

Union Culture Minister Inaugurates Photographic Exhibition on ‘Thailand-India Interwoven Legacies: Stream of Faith in Buddhism’

K M Dayashankar

“Photographic display captures the emotional outpour and deep-rooted devotion of Thai People towards Bhagwan Buddha”: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

NEW DELHI, JULY 11, 2024: The photographic exhibition “Thailand-India Interwoven Legacies: Stream of Faith in Buddhism” was inaugurated by Mr Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of Culture and Tourism, at the National Museum in New Delhi, on Thursday. At the inaugural ceremony, the Union Minister was joined by Mr. Maris Sangiampongsa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Ambassador Pattarat Hongtong, and Dr. B.R. Mani, Director General of the National Museum.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Mr Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, “Today, this photographic display at the National Museum captures the emotional outpour and the deep-rooted devotion and reverence of the Thai people towards Bhagwan Buddha and His message of peace and compassion.”

The Minister quoting Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi added that the ideals of Lord Buddha serve as a spiritual bridge between India and Thailand, fostering a deep-rooted connection.

The exhibition aims to showcase the profound reception and reverence of the people of Thailand towards the Holy Relics of Lord Buddha and his chief disciples, Arahat Sariputta and Arahat Maha Mogallana. These relics, excavated from Piprahwa, Siddharth Nagar District of Uttar Pradesh, are a focal point of the exhibition, symbolizing the deep-rooted cultural and traditional ties between India and Thailand.

The excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1970 – 71, at Piprahwa brought to light two caskets, containing a total of twenty-two sacred bone relics. Of these, twenty bone fragments and the two caskets are presently displayed in the National Museum, New Delhi while the other remaining two bone fragments are loaned to the Indian Museum, Kolkata.

The Holy Relics were displayed in Thailand in a 25-day long momentous exposition. The Exposition was organized under the auspices of Ganga-Mekong Holy Relics Dhammayatra, in February – March, earlier this year.

During the 25 days of the Exposition, the Holy Relics of Lord Buddha and His disciples were enshrined for public veneration at Sanam Luang Pavilion (Bangkok), Ho Kum Luang, Royal Park Rajapruek (Chiang Mai), Wat Maha Wanaram (Ubon Ratchathani), Wat Maha That Wachiramongkol (Krabi). More than four million devotees from different parts of Thailand and its neighbouring countries paid tributes to the Holy Relics. Elaborate and colourful ceremonial processions and chanting ceremonies were organized by the Thai communities and Indian diaspora, at all four venues in Thailand.

This Exposition was jointly organized by the Kingdom of Thailand and the Ministry of Culture, Government of India with active support from the Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian Embassy in Thailand, the National Museum, the International Buddhist Confederation, and the Mahaboddhi Society.

 

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