This is the first time the Holy Relics of Lord Buddha and his disciples have been displayed together outside India
The Holy Relics of Lord Buddha and his disciples, Arahants Sariputra and Maha Maudgalayana, ceremoniously transported from India to Thailand recently for an exposition in Bangkok, have been attracting the devout in large numbers.
On Makha Bucha, 24th February, nearly 1 Lakh devotees paid their obeisance to the Sacred Relics at the Pagoda in Sanam Luang Pavilion where the Holy Relics were enshrined on February 23, 2024.
The exposition represents spiritual solidarity between the two nations. This unique exercise, facilitated by a special Indian Air Force plane, represents the first instance the relics have been displayed together outside India. The Holy Relics will be escorted back on March 19, 2024 from Thailand to their respective homes, concluding a historic and spiritually enriching exposition in Thailand.

Ceremonial Homage and Celebration

The relics' arrival culminated in a solemn enshrinement at Bangkok's Sanam Luang pavilion. Indian officials, including Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar and Union Minister Virendra Kumar, entrusted the sacred artifacts to their Thai counterparts in an event steeped in reverence and mutual respect.
The ceremony, complemented by a parade that vividly showcased Thai cultural heritage, initiated a 26-day exposition aimed at disseminating the Buddha's eternal messages of compassion, peace, and non-violence.
The Legacy behind the Relics

Unearthed during the 1970s by the Archaeological Survey of India at Piprahwa, part of the ancient realm of Kapilavastu, these relics date back to the 4th-5th century BC and embody the spiritual essence of Buddhism. Their presentation in Thailand, especially on the auspicious occasion of Magh Purnima, universally resonated Buddha's teachings by attracting multiple devotees
A Conduit for Cultural Diplomacy

Accompanied by the "Buddhabhoomi Bharat" exhibition, the relics' journey serves as a bridge for cultural exchange, spotlighting India's rich Buddhist heritage and promoting spiritual tourism. The 'Buddhabhoomi Bharat' pavilion emerged as a crucible of cultural interaction, offering an immersive glimpse into India’s Buddhist sites and teachings, drawing significant interest from visitors.
This remarkable initiative, aligned with the celebration of His Majesty King Rama X of Thailand's 6th cycle and 72nd birth anniversary, epitomizes the depth of India's cultural diplomacy and its commitment to nurturing ties with Thailand. The delegation, led by prominent Indian figures and accompanied by a considerable Indian diaspora contingent, also majorly boosted India-Thailand relations.
Reinforcing India-Thailand Friendship

The Thai Culture Minister's expression of gratitude towards the Indian government for this opportunity and mapped the propagation of Buddha's teachings to make peace and understanding the foundation of the Thai and its diasporic community.
Recalling the historical context, the relics' exposition in Thailand harks back to the 1995-96 display commemorating King Rama IX’s ascension. The return of Arahants Sariputta and Maha Maudgalayana's relics to India post-independence marked the inception of India’s endeavour to share the Buddha's relics globally, advancing spiritual diplomacy.
The conveyance of Lord Buddha’s relics to Thailand transcends a mere religious ceremony; it reaffirms the profound cultural and spiritual ties binding India and Thailand. Through such exchanges, both nations continue to celebrate their historical connections, nurturing mutual respect and understanding, and showcasing the unifying power of shared heritage in the modern world.