Monday, 30th October 2017

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Heritage walk for Gaya tourism festival

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By Alok Kumar in Gaya
  • Published 10.10.17

A heritage walk from the 80-ft Buddha statue to the world heritage Mahabodhi Mahavihara in Bodhgaya will mark Paryatan Parva on October 14.

On Monday evening, district magistrate (DM) Kumar Ravi held a meeting with representatives of Bodhgaya-based monasteries from different Buddhist countries and hoteliers to discuss programmes to be organised on the occasion.

The DM asked the district education officer (DEO) to prepare a list of tourist sites in Gaya and organise a tour of the sites for schoolchildren so that the students become aware of the rich heritage in their district.

The DM asked for the monasteries in Bodhgaya to be decorated for the occasion. On October 14, food stalls of different Buddhist nations will come up at May Sarovar.

Union ministry of tourism, in collaboration with other central ministries and the state governments, is organising Paryatan Parv to draw focus on the benefits of tourism, showcase the country's cultural diversity and reinforce the principle of "tourism for all".

A series of events and activities like competitions for students and sensitisation programme for tourism service providers will be organised apart from interactive sessions and workshops on various themes.

On Monday, maha kathina civara dana (robe offering ceremony) was organised under the holy Bodhi tree at the world-famous Mahabodhi Mahavihara premises by the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC).

Around 500 monks - 200 of Mahayana and 300 of Therawada sect - from different parts of the world participated in the programme.

The robe-offering ceremony marks the commencement of the tourist season in Bodhgaya for this season 2017-18.

BTMC has already released the annual prayer schedule till March 4 for the tourist season 2017-18.

During this period, devotees from different Buddhist nations would congregate in Bodhgaya to participate in the annual events.

Offering civara to the monks is a tradition in Buddhism.

It is believed that the monks spend three months in Varshawaas (a rainy retreat) from the period spanning from July to September.

During this three-month period, the monks remain indoors in their respective monasteries or other places.

They sit in meditation and organise prayers during the period. After the Varshawaas period is over, they need new clothes (civara) and thus the robe-offering ceremony is organised in the monasteries.