20,000 diyas light up Sarnath on Buddha's 2550th Great Parinirvan
Varanasi, May 13 (UNI) Sarnath -- the site where Buddha ignited the light of knowledge among five disciples centuries ago was this evening bedecked with 20,000 diyas (earthen lamps).
Marking the 2550th Great Parinirvan of Buddha, this fetival of lights started off at 1840 hrs today evening in the lines of Dev Deepawali -- the evening when all 84 Ganga ghats of Varanasi are decorated with diyas.
While Dev Deepawali is held every year to mark the Hindu festival of Kartik Purnima, this evening's twinkling delight coincided with Buddha Purnima at the world famous Buddhist pilgrimage of Sarnath.
Entire Sarnath including the road leading to Chaukhandi Stupa, was dotted with diyas lighted by Buddhist monks, school children, besides national and international tourists.
The occasion also marked the inauguration of the Buddha Mahotsava --the two-day annual cultural fiesta organised by the Uttar Pradesh Tourism in association with Maha Bodhi Society.
In his inaugural address, UP Tourism Minister Kokab Hamid said that besides a Buddhist Circuit connecting all important Buddhist sites of the state, Sarnath will be developed in a unique manner.
The project included setting up of a ' Buddha theme park' with the assistance of a Japanese organisation, besides a tourist information centre, equipped with latest info devices.
UNI ARS ARB VC2100