Patil inaugurates first Indian-styled Buddhist temple in China

President Pratibha Patil on Saturday dedicated the first Indian-styled Buddhist temple in China, situated in the famous White Horse temple complex here, to the people of China.

Luoyang: President Pratibha Patil on Saturday dedicated the first Indian-styled Buddhist temple in China, situated in the famous White Horse temple complex here, to the people of this country, describing it as a "testimony" of the friendship between the two neighbours.

Patil, who reached this historical capital of China from Beijing this morning, inaugurated the temple, which is a fusion of ancient principles of design with modern
technological skills.

The temple bridges 2000 years of history and adds a
significant chapter to Sino-India cultural ties.

Patil was received by Henan province Governor Guo
Gengmao, chief abbot of the White Horse temple Yen Li and
other senior officials.

"Luoyang is widely considered to be a cradle of the
Chinese civilisation.... Historically it (the White Horse
temple) has the unique distinction of symbolising an
intermingling of Indian and Chinese cultures," the President
said addressing the monks and others present at the temple
complex.

"I am confident that the Indian-styled temple will also
be perceived by generations to come as a testimony of our
friendship," she said during her nearly 40-minute visit to the
shrine.

Patil also thanked the designer and architects of the
Indian-styled temple -- Akshaya Jain, Raka Chakravarty and
Dilip Kumar Nag.

The President acknowledged this Chinese province`s
efforts in realising the monument of the Sino-India
friendship. She hoped that the temple will strengthen
people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

In the temple`s visitors book, Patil wrote that the
ancient White Horse temple at Loyang embodied the
close civilisational ties between India and China.

"My visit here has been a special experience and it has
been a privilege to dedicate the Indian-styled Buddhist temple
as a gift from people of India to friendly people of China,"
she wrote.

The White Horse Buddhist temple was built in 68 AD when
Buddhism was introduced in China by Chinese Monk Xuanzan after
a 17-year-long voyage.

PTI

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