After the 182-meter tall `Statue of Unity’ of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Gujarat may get a gigantic Buddha statue. Sanghakaya Foundation, a non-profit Buddhist organisation, said Thursday that it has demanded land from the government for installing an 80-feet high statue of Lord Buddha in Gandhinagar district.
It has roped in Ram Sutar, the sculptor behind the Statue of Unity, for the project, it said.
“We are expecting to get land soon,” president of the foundation Bhante Prashil Ratna told reporters.
The Statue of Unity, inaugurated in Narmada district of the state on October 31, is the tallest statue in the world.
Bhante Prashil Ratna also said that the foundation is planning to set up a Buddhist University in Gujarat.
“Contrary to the belief that ancient Buddhist sites exist only in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and further to the north, Gujarat too has been blessed with such sites,” he said.
“Like Nalanda and Takshashila, records of Chinese traveller Xuanzang mention that there was a big Buddhist university called Vallabhi at Bhavnagar in Gujarat,” he said.
“As (ancient) Nalanda university has been revived, we wish to revive Vallabhi university here,” he said.
“The state government has given us land in Gandhinagar where we are planning to start a university on Buddhism,” he said.
The foundation also plans to build a grand monument at Dev Ni Mori, a Buddhist archaeological site in Sabarkantha district of north Gujarat, he said.
“During the excavation at Dev Ni Mori, two km from temple town of Shamlaji, they found ashes of Lord Buddha….The government has sanctioned the land and a monument will be built at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore,” he said.
A Buddhist monastery was also found during excavation in Vadnagar, the hometown of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.