A day after inaugurating the Arunachal Bhavan at Guwahati, Chief Minister Pema Khandu today dedicated to the people one Arunachal State Guest House at the holy city of Gaya in Bihar. The guest house besides offering accommodation to Buddhist pilgrims from Arunachal Pradesh, will also double up as a convention and cultural center.
Under the administration of state Department of Karmik and Adhyatmik Affairs (DoKAA), the project was executed by the state Water Resources Department (WRD).
Speaking on the occasion, Khandu profusely expressed gratitude to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for allotting the land to the state government for construction of the guest house.
He informed that it was a dream project of his late father and former Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu to have a facility for Buddhist followers of the state who throng Gaya at least once a year.
Bodh Gaya is one of the most religiously important places in India. Gaya, as a pilgrimage site, is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus. It specifically holds a very important place in Buddhism as Gautama Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment here. As per religious text, it was under the sacred fig tree here known as the Bodhi Tree where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment and became an integral part of the pilgrimage circuit.
“Hundreds of pilgrims from our state, especially from the districts of West Kameng and Tawang come here, particularly during the winters. The dormitories in the guest house are specifically designed to accommodate devotees. With this one of my late father’s incomplete dreams and aspirations of the Buddhist people of my state have been fulfilled,” Khandu said.
He further recalled that late Dorjee Khandu, as the then Chief Minister in 2011, had written a letter to his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar seeking a plot of land for construction of a guest house.
Unfortunately, barely a couple of months later, Dorjee Khandu died in tragic helicopter crash near Tawang.
“In fact, when I met Nitish Kumar for the first time, he mentioned that he had received the letter (from late Khandu) on the day when the tragic incident was flashing all over news channels. On my request to take the project forward, he promptly responded and allotted us this plot of land and also ensured that all out support was rendered to us by the Bihar government and local administration,” Khandu revealed.
The new G-plus-4 guest house boasts of 47 rooms including dormitories with a capacity to accommodate 201 guests at a go. Completed at a cost of about Rs 15 crore, constructions began in the year 2018-19.
Present on the occasion were Lhaygyala Rinpoche, Abott of Namgyal Monastery, Dharmasala, Jetsun Pema, sister of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tawang MLA Tsering Tashi, DoKAA Chairman Jambey Wangdi, representatives of the office of the Dalai Lama, officials of Gaya district administration, police and Municipal Corporation.