From Thailand, in search of Buddhist link

Even though Buddhism thrived in Poompuhar and Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu, they do not figure in the list places to be visited by the pilgrims from South-East Asian countries. They tour North India and visit Buddhist pilgrim centres like Bodh Gaya.

A few days ago, a group of scholars and Buddhist monks from Thailand visited Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Kancheepuram, Srirangam, Madurai and other famous temples on the advice of noted Indologist and former director of Archaeology department V. Nagasamy.

“They have woken up to the Buddhist connection in this part of the country. Around 150 years ago, 300 bronze and gold-plated Buddha statues were found in Nagapattinam during an excavation and 200 of them are in Egmore museum, while the others were sent to countries including Thailand,” said Dr Nagasamy.

He pointed out that the Choodamani Vihara in Nagapattinam was built by King Raja Raja on the request of the King of Thailand Srimara Vijayathunga Varman in memory of his father Choodamani Varman in the 11{+t}{+h}century. Raja Raja’s son Rajedra Chola established Buddhist pallis. In Poompohar, a Buddha vihara was found during archaeological excavation...............Read more


Source web page: The Hindu

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