Centre developing infrastructure for Buddhist tourism: Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that Centre was taking initiatives to develop infrastructure for Buddhist tourism in an attempt to connect Southeast Asia to the important Buddhist sites in the country.

“We are developing infrastructure for Buddhist tourism, which is going to connect Southeast Asia with the important Buddhist sites of India. I am also very pleased that the government is a partner in the restoration of many Buddhist temples which also includes the centuries old Anand Temple in Bagan, Myanmar,” Modi said in his monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat”.

Modi said the country has inherited Lord Buddha’s wisdom.

He said that Buddhism has forged a link between India and many Asian countries like China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar where Lord Buddha’s preachings were of their traditions.

“Today, when there is confrontation and human suffering prevalent everywhere in the world, Lord Buddha’s teachings show the way to rid hatred from the world with compassion. I wish people all over the world who revere Lord Buddha and believe in the principles of his compassion, an auspicious Buddha Purnima,” Modi said.

People in India must be proud of the fact that the country was Lord Buddha’s birthplace.

“Today, as we remember Lord Buddha, you must have heard about the idols of laughing Buddha, it is said that laughing Buddha brings one good fortune, but very few people know that smiling Buddha is also associated with an important event in India’s defense history,” Modi said while pointing out that a nuclear test was conducted in Pokhran, Rajasthan on Buddha Purnima on May 11, 1998.

Buddha Purnima will be observed on Monday.