The east gate at the Tilaurakot archaeological site. (Photo: Wikipedia)
CHANDRAUTA: A master plan is to be prepared including archaeological sites related to Lord Gautam Buddha in Kapilvastu district.
The sites include the remnants of King Sudhdhodan’s palace at Tilaurakot, Sagarhawa, the site where thousands of Shakyas were said to have been killed, Kudan, Niglihawa, Gotihawa and Araurakot.
King Sudhdhodan is the father of the prince Siddhartha, who later on became the Buddha after enlightenment, Shakya is the clan name into which Siddhartha Gautam was born, Kudan is the place where the Buddha first addressed the Bhikkhus, Niglihawa is the place of birth of the Kanakamuni Buddha, Gotihawa is the birthplace of the Krakuchchhanda Buddha and Araurakot is the place where a Buddha stupa has been found.
Vice-chair of Lumbini Development Trust, Vikkhu Avadesh Kumar Tripathi said the masterplan envisaged to include in a single cluster the Greater Lumbini Area’s the Buddhist Circuit Plan and all the Buddhist heritages of Lumbini, Kapilbastu and Ramgram.
“The master plan would be made by keeping Tilaurakot at the centre. As per a latest study, Nepal’s oldest civilisation has been discovered in Tilaurakot area,” Tripathi said. Experts have said evidence of a civilization 1600 years older than the Buddha’s time has been found at Tilaurakot. This civilization, LDT Vice-chair Tripathi argued, could be compared to the Taxilla and Gandhar area in Asia.
According to him, the plan would give priority to the sustainable conservation of the structures and the draft of the master plan would be prepared in about six months.
There is also the target of taking visitors coming to Lumbini up to Tilaurakot as well. The plan has envisaged for construction of trail for the visitors to go around, a well-managed bus park, resting places, area for selling local goods and souvenirs and other amenities.
It would be developed as a site for studying and learning about the history of Kapilbastu and Buddha’s time.
The Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) has said experts have been working on the master plan since a year now. It is estimated that Rs 16 billion would be required for construction of the main structures including acquiring land for the purpose. Archaeologist Dr Sanjaya Uprety has been on work for preparing the master plan. He had also prepared the master plan for the development of Ramgram area.
LDT has consulted, in the first phase, with the lawmakers representing the district, (RSS)