Buddhavanam, the Buddhist Heritage Theme Park undertaken in 2005 at Nagarjunasagar by the united Andhra Pradesh government, kickstarted Buddha Jayanti celebrations to be held on May 21. The 2,560th birth anniversary celebrations are being organised in a big way at the prominent Buddhist site.
The 279-acre centre will boast eight different components, five of which are currently under construction. The eight segments of the theme park includes a Maha Stupa, which will house a museum, auditorium and meditation centre, an International Centre for Higher Buddhist Learning, a meditation park and a miniature stupa park that showcases famous Stupas found across India and South-East Asia.
The Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation aims to attract Buddhist tourists from across India and Southeast Asia after the park's completion. The day in Buddhavanam's construction belies the rich Buddhist heritage on the northern banks of the Krishna River. Nagarjunasagar was named after the famous Buddhist scholar and philosopher Acharaya Nagarjuna. Nagarjunakonda was also a centre of Buddhist learning and housed several monasteries, shrines and stupas.
The Government of Sri Lanka gifted Buddhavanam a 27-foot high statue of Awukana Buddha as part of the Indo-Sri Lankan Culture exchange programme. Officials from the governments of Sri Lanka and Tibet expressed interest during visits in developing the International Center for Higher Buddhist Learning. In February, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu visited the site, urging officials to hasten the completion of works.