Arunachal's Golden Pagoda is state's rich Buddhist heritage

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) [India], Mar. 3 (ANI): Arunachal Pradesh, known for its bewildering scenic beauty and blessed with a favourable climate makes it an inseparable part of the entire region and attracts tourists from all across the world. Equally charming among the destinations in Arunachal Pradesh is the Golden Pagoda, or Khongmu-kham in the local Tai Khamti language, stands besides the Patkai resort in Namsai. Thousands of devotees, monks and followers of the Buddha throng every year to the Pagoda as it is considered sacred and very significant. The Golden Pagoda is a temple complex situated on about 20 hectares of land and is built in a Burmese architectural design. "It is a peaceful environment here and the temple is really made beautifully, it feels good to be here. I have been to many monasteries which are basically set up in hilly areas specially in our place but this is something unique it is clean accompanied with a wonderful garden," said Pankaj, a visitor from Siliguri, West Bengal. "This is my first visit here and it is really peaceful and it gives me immense pleasure to be here," said Lovely Sharma, another visitor from Tinsukia, West Bengal. The Pagoda was built by over 300 architects from Myanmar and skilled masons. It has an installation of 13 crowns atop the Stupas, with Lord Buddha's relics from India, Thailand and Myanmar. It also consists of the Kala Buddha of Nalanda archive. There is also a centre for cultural research of the Tai Khamti-Singpho tribes, a library and a monastery/monk's hostel adjacent to the temple. The origin of the temple has a long history behind it as it was in the year 1995-96 when Chowna Mein went to Thailand with Ven Phramaha Somboon Temduang, who took him to Wat Aranjikavas. Together they met chief monk, Prakhu Pabhavana (Kit-thun-thon), who donated the Lord Buddha statue which was later installed at the main shrine of the Golden Pagoda complex. It took Chowna Mein a considerable time of 12 years to find a suitable site for construction of the Pagoda. The site was finalised in 2008 and construction work was started, which led to its completion in the year 2010. "Since it was not possible to keep the idol of Buddha at home so he finally decided to set up a temple and had chosen this particular place to set up the temple as the place was not that far from the main road and the location was perfectly beautiful for a temple to set up. Earlier it was a forest area so he first decided to clear the unwanted forest trees in the premises and gardening was done and finally the pagoda was set up," said Golden Pagoda Temple Monk. "Anyone who visits this temple and prays wholeheartedly and pays their obeisance it is regarded as good deeds in a person's life so with this motive this temple was built by Chowna Mein," he added. The best route for traveler to reach there is by Road: Tinsukia- Dirak Check Gate - Namsai - Tengapani Golden Pagoda which is a Total distance of 88 km and the Nearest Railhead is the Tinsukia Junction and if one wants to travel by air the nearest Airport is Dibrugarh Airport in Assam. Patkai Resort, which is adjacent to the Kongmu-kham (Golden Pagoda), is a separate entity. It is made operational to cater to the accommodation needs of tourists and devotees. The resort also endeavours to make holidays enjoyable in the serene and spiritual atmosphere of Kongmu-kham or Golden Pagoda while taking under consideration spiritual aspects like meditation, participation in Dhamma talks and other activities which are designed specifically to cater to all ages. "Next year I am going to come again and stay in the resort which is amazing. Most importantly it is so clean and I would say it is the most well maintained place here. Definitely for Arunachal Pradesh it is can be the most talked about tourist destination," said Pervez Khan, visitor from Dibrugarh. It is worth mentioning that the King of Thailand, late Bhumibol Adulyadej, gifted a Buddha Relic and Buddha Statue to this temple. Thus, Golden Pagoda became the only monastery to have a Buddha relic in India along with the National Museum in New Delhi. (ANI)