Naveen urges monks, writers to spread legacy of Buddhism in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged tour operators, writers and monks to convey the world about the existence of Buddhist heritage sites in the state.

Patnaik said this while addressing the 4th Kalinga International Buddhist Conclave attended by Buddhist monks from across the globe.

“Help us bring to the light the legacy of Buddhism in Odisha,” he said.

Patnaik’s statement came in the backdrop of the state’s 200 Buddhist sites not getting any mention in world tourism map. Of the 200 sites, 15 are completely excavated.

Noting that Odisha is a treasure of Buddhist heritage, Patnaik said the land has been known for transformation of warrior king Ashoka to a benevolent king.

“The conqueror was conquered by the power of peace.

And this changed the course of history of the world in that time. The commitment of our people to peace was real winner,” Patnaik said.

Stating that the state was focal the point of spreading Buddhism across the globe, he said Buddhism in Odisha has influenced the culture and religion of South-East Asia, Tibet and Sri Lanka.

The Odisha government has an objective to bring to light the rich Buddhist legacy of the state, Patnaik said adding, it may be a matter of debate that whether Buddha visited Odisha or not, but no one can deny the pre-eminent position Buddhism had in Kalinga (the ancient name of Odisha) even before the Kalinga war.

Buddhism had a profound influence on not just the architecture and culture of the state, but also continues to influence the way of life in Odisha, the Chief Minister told the conclave.

Patnaik felicitated some Buddhist monks at the conclave. About 200 international and national Buddhist scholars, tour operators, monks, travel bloggers and writers participated in the event.