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Photographic Exhibition “Thailand-India Interwoven Legacies: Stream of Faith in Buddhism” Inaugurated in New Delhi

New Delhi: The photographic exhibition “Thailand-India Interwoven Legacies: Stream of Faith in Buddhism” was inaugurated today by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of Culture and Tourism, at the National Museum in New Delhi. The inaugural ceremony was graced by the presence of H.E. Maris Sangiampongsa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Ambassador H.E. Pattarat Hongtong, and Dr. B.R. Mani, Director General of the National Museum.

In his address, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat emphasized the exhibition’s significance, stating, “Today, this photographic display at the National Museum captures the emotional outpour and the deep-rooted devotion and reverence of the Thai people towards Bhagwan Buddha and His message of peace and compassion.” He quoted Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, highlighting that the ideals of Lord Buddha serve as a spiritual bridge between India and Thailand, fostering a profound connection.

The exhibition aims to showcase the deep reverence of the people of Thailand towards the Holy Relics of Lord Buddha and his chief disciples, Arahat Sariputta and Arahat Maha Mogallana. These relics, excavated from Piprahwa in Siddharth Nagar District of Uttar Pradesh, symbolize the enduring cultural and traditional ties between India and Thailand.

Excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1970–71 at Piprahwa revealed two caskets containing twenty-two sacred bone relics. Of these, twenty bone fragments and the two caskets are displayed at the National Museum in New Delhi, while the remaining two bone fragments are on loan to the Indian Museum in Kolkata.

Earlier this year, the Holy Relics were displayed in Thailand during a 25-day exposition under the auspices of the Ganga-Mekong Holy Relics Dhammayatra. The exposition took place from February to March and featured the Holy Relics enshrined for public veneration at Sanam Luang Pavilion (Bangkok), Ho Kum Luang, Royal Park Rajapruek (Chiang Mai), Wat Maha Wanaram (Ubon Ratchathani), and Wat Maha That Wachiramongkol (Krabi). Over four million devotees from Thailand and neighboring countries paid tribute to the Holy Relics. The Thai communities and the Indian diaspora organized elaborate and colorful ceremonial processions and chanting ceremonies at all four venues.

The exposition was a collaborative effort between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, with support from the Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian Embassy in Thailand, the National Museum, the International Buddhist Confederation, and the Mahabodhi Society.

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