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IN PHOTOS: A holy shrine that teaches the spirit of peace

Last updated on: January 10, 2012 13:00 IST

IN PHOTOS: A holy shrine that teaches the spirit of peace

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A Ganesh Nadar in Vaishali, Bihar

A Ganesh Nadar visits the Peace Pagoda of the World at Vaishali in Bihar and is spellbound by the message of peace and tranquility.

In Vaishali, the holy land of the Buddha in Bihar, life pauses for a while as one is immersed into spirituality and calmness.

In this ancient city, formerly the prosperous capital of the Lichhavis, the Buddha preached his last sermon in 483 BC.

In 1958, archeologist A S Altekar unearthed an urn with some sacred ash and bones of the Buddha from Vaishali. Ever since the holy relics have been kept at the Patna museum, a fact resented by some residents of this ancient city who believe it should be with them.

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Image: A statue of the Buddha at the temple in Vaishali, Bihar
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com

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The Peace Pagoda of the World

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The Japanese have built a majestic temple in Vaishali for the Buddha, the Peace Pagoda of the World.

It is a gigantic structure with the Buddha in various poses -- at birth, giving a sermon, sleeping and meditating. The path leading to this shrine has monasteries of Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

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Image: The Japanese built the Peace Pagoda of the World
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com

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Hiroshima and Nagasaki, never again!

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The temple has been built by the Japanese Society for Peace, which was founded after the horrors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear disasters in 1945 that killed nearly 250,000 people.

The beautiful shrine, which has been constructed with donations from India and Japan, is a must see for those interested in Buddhism and history.

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Image: A statue of the Buddha at the Pagoda of Peace
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com

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Ashoka The Great lives on...

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The shrine is next to a huge lake that is said to have been built during Ashoka The Great's reign (304-232 BC).

Shocked by the brutality of war, Ashoka embraced Buddhism after the Kalinga war and was its greatest patron.

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Image: The shrine is next to a lake that is said to have been built during Ashoka's reign
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com
Tags: Ashoka , Kalinga

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On new year's day, locals said around 2 lakh people visited this shrine

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Vaishali attracts large numbers of spiritual tourists, both from India and abroad, all year round.

On New Year's Day this year, around 200,000 people, locals say, visited this shrine.


Image: Vaishali, to this day, attracts huge influx of tourists, both from India and abroad
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com
Tags: Vaishali , India

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