International conclave poised to give exposure to Odisha’s Buddhist treasure

Bhubaneswar: The famous archaeological sites in Lalitgiri-Udaygiri-Ratnagiri in Odisha’s Jajpur district would be abuzz with intellectual discourses during a three-day International Buddhist Conclave scheduled to begin on April 10.

“Hundreds of Buddhist scholars and researchers will attend the global meet. The event of this nature will provide much needed international exposure to Buddhist treasures spread across Odisha. The state Tourism Department is organizing the conclave to attract more tourists and researchers to the Buddhist sites of the state”, said Dr Sunil Patnaik, secretary, Odisha Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS).

The delegates will visit the famous Buddhist sites of Udayagiri, Ratnagiri, Lalitagiri, Langudi, Kaima and other places of Jajpur district during the conclave. The famous Buddhist sites at Laliitagiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri known as ‘Diamond Triangle’ reveal the once flourishing condition of Buddhist religion in the region. Visited by the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang, the centers of learning were at par with their famed counterparts of Nalanda and Taxila. “However, many Buddhist scholars of other states and countries are unaware of the rich Buddhist heritage of our state and this conference will be useful for them to know about the historic Buddhist sites of Odisha”, added Patnaik.

“The objective of the conclave is to promote the ancient and vibrant Buddhist heritage, art and philosophy of Buddhism in Odisha. Many eminent Buddhist scholars from many Buddhist countries including Myanmar (formerly Burma), Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Bhutan will attend the conclave. Besides, seminars, films, cultural programmes, photo exhibition and other programmes will also be organized”, Patnaik pointed out.

The conference will present Buddhist philosophy and aesthetics through various creative forms like dance, films, photo exhibition, selected art works, discourses, discussions and debates to highlight myriad forms of practice of Buddhism around the world, he added.

Besides, there would be deliberation on the understanding and appreciation of the art and philosophy of Buddhism with the interaction of participants and audience with scholars and researchers, Patnaik informed.

A preparatory meeting was organized at Udayagiri recently to make the conclave a grand success. The meeting was attended by the Jajpur Collector, director, Tourism, Barachana MLA, Amar Prasad Satapathy, and others.