President of the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka Sanchi centre, Banagala Upatissa Thero
President of the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka Sanchi centre, Banagala Upatissa Thero

Sanchi: 66th Chethiyagiri Vihara Festival commences

By Sahil Pandey | Updated: Nov 24, 2018 23:45 IST

Sanchi, (Madhya Pradesh) [India] Nov 24 (ANI): The city of Sanchi has geared up for the 66th edition of Chethiyagiri Vihara Festival.
Pilgrims in large numbers are visiting the city to get a glimpse of the relics of the two great disciples of Lord Buddha- Sariputta and Mahamogallena.
The relics were seized from the third stupa in Sanchi by the British government and were kept in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. With the efforts of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, these relics were brought back to the country on November 30, 1952.
Banagala Upatissa Thero, President of the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka Sanchi center said that the relics came to India via Sri Lanka.
Describing the historical journey of the relics, Thero added that after the relic was brought to Sanchi, there was no temple complex to be kept in.
"The Nawab of Bhopal provided land and a temple was constructed for the relics to be kept in," Thero said.
This festival attracts tourists from several countries including Japan, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.
The first day of the festival was graced by the High commissioner of Sri Lanka, Austin Fernando.
In the festival, the relics are brought out for display and pilgrims come to pay their homage from all over the world. (ANI)

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