Mahabodhi Temple may get world heritage site status

Satyen Mohapatra

(New Delhi, May 3)

THE MAHABODHI Temple, built at the spot where Siddharth attained enlightenment and become the Buddha, may be declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The status is granted to those world cultural sites, which are considered to be of "outstanding value to humanity".

The Department of Tourism is making a serious bid to get the World Cultural Heritage Site status for the Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya.

Programme Officer (Culture) UNESCO, Delhi, R P Parera said that the chances of the temple being declared as a world cultural heritage site were very bright. A crucial meeting of the Bureau of World Heritage Committee is scheduled for early June where a final decision will be taken.

The Tourism Ministry is making the bid on the grounds that the temple is the most revered place for all Buddhists. It marks the most important event in the life of one of the greatest human beings who ever lived and shaped the course of human thought and belief.

The 52-metre high temple belonging to the 6th-7th century is one of the earliest structural temples in the sub-continent. It is the only representation of the architectural genius of Indians in constructing fully developed brick temples in that era.

Director (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, Ashwani Lohani, is "confident" to get the recognition because of the temple's "religious and historical appeal".

Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 4, 2001
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