Kushinagar International Airport
Part of: Prelims and GS I- History; and GS III – Infrastructure
Context Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh shall be inaugurated on 20th October by the Indian Prime Minister.
- The airport is expected to provide seamless connectivity to tourists from Sri Lanka, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and so on.
- The Sri Lankan contingent, led by a member of the first family, will also be present, owing to the historical importance of the place.
Mural painting as a token of gift
- To mark the occasion, Sri Lanka will present to India photographs of two murals painted by renowned Sri Lankan artist Solias Mendis at the Kelaniya Rajamaha Vihara, a popular Buddhist temple near Colombo
- One of the murals depicts ‘Arahat Bhikkhu’ Mahinda, son of Emperor Ashoka delivering the message of the Buddha to King Devanampiyatissa of Sri Lanka.
- The other shows the arrival of ‘Theri Bhikkhuni’ Sanghamitta, the daughter of the Emperor Ashoka, in Sri Lanka, bearing a sapling of the ‘sacred Bodhi tree’ under which Siddhārtha Gautama is believed to have attained enlightenment.
Importance of Kushinagar
- Kushinagar is the centre of the Buddhist circuit, which consists of pilgrimage sites at Lumbini, Sarnath and Gaya.
- Buddhist pilgrims consider Kushinagar a sacred site where, they believe, Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon and attained ‘Mahaparinirvana’ or salvation.