The ‘Buddha Bhoomi Vandan Yatra’ is a cultural and educational programme organized by ICCR that aims to provide young scholars a deeper understanding of India’s Buddhist heritage. It enables participants to visit key Buddhist sites, engage with experts, and learn about the rich history and culture of Buddhism in India.
From 25 October 2023 to 3 November 2023, 23 young Buddhist scholars from 11 different countries, including Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Japan, Bhutan, South Korea, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam have been traveling across India as a part of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ (ICCR) ‘Buddha Bhoomi Vandan Yatra.’ This educational and cultural visit aims to promote cross-cultural understanding and facilitate the exploration of India’s rich Buddhist heritage.
On October 26, 2023, the young scholars explored Bodh Gaya’s Monasteries and Archaeological Museum. The next day, in Nalanda, they visited Nalanda Monuments and the Nalanda University, established in 2010. Furthermore, on 28 October, they departed for Varanasi and 29 October brought visits to Sarnath’s Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS), Chaukhambi Stupa, Sarnath Museum, Mulgandh Kuti, and Dhamek Stupa. Additionally, on 30th October, Dr. Animesh Prakash, Assistant Professor, CIHTS, had an interactive session on the ‘Buddhist & Indian Knowledge System.’ They also visited Kashi Vishwanath Dham, and witnessed the maha Ganga Aarti.
On 31st October in Delhi, delegates at the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) at Vigyan Bhawan attended an insightful presentation on the Indian Knowledge system conducted by Director, National Mission for Manuscripts, Dr. Anirban Dash. Similarly, on 31st October, President, ICCR, Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe hosted a dinner in honour of the delegates of the Buddha Bhoomi Vandan Yatra. DG, ICCR, Shri Kumar Tuhin was also present during the event, along with Buddhist scholars from New Delhi.
Lastly, their visits concluded on 2 November at the Ajanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The final day of the ‘Buddha Bhoomi Vandan Yatra,’ concluded with a ‘Media Interaction’, Chaired by President, ICCR, Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe on 3rd November 2023 at 11.30 AM at ICCR’s conference room, Azad Bhawan Rd, IP Estate, Delhi – 110002.