I armed myself with a map and with some helpful tips by the man at the hotel reception, I ventured out to visit the Buddha Memorial Park, Patna. The taxi dropped me just near the park and I expectantly made way to purchase the ticket to enter the park premise. The ticket cost was just 10 rupees and I entered along with numerous other tourists. A board near the entrance had some information about the park. It said that the park was inaugurated by the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama in the year 2010.
The park is dominated by the Patliputra Karuna Stupa. This 200 feet high stupa has on display the pot containing the holy ashes of Lord Buddha. There is a laid path around the stupa for ‘parikrama’. The park has several features, which interest me. As I progressed I came across a Meditation Centre overlooking the stupa. It has air-conditioned rooms for meditation and a huge collection of books related to Buddha and his teachings. Along with them is a big audio visual hall, which probably hosts large gatherings in the park. Buddhism traveled to various parts of the world from this city. The park of memories stands testimony to it as it has stupas representing the different countries where Buddhism has left its mark. The architectural construction signifies the country the stupa belongs to. Next, I entered the museum that depicts the life of Buddha and his teachings. I saw original artifacts of Lord Buddha on display and the story of his life being shown through audio visual clips and multimedia presentations. There were 3-D models too.
The landscaping of the park is stunning. In the fast moving lives today my experience in the Buddha Memorial Park, Patna compeled me to pause a while and a sense of calm entered my being. It was truly magical. Another placard caught my attention where I saw written that the saplings from the original Bodh Gaya tree and from Mahameghavana Anuradhapura, Srilanka were planted here too. I guess this explains the sense of peace that the surroundings offer. With a calmer conscience I left the park for Har mandir saheb, Patna next.