The cultural center was built with Rs153.4 crore. The central campus covers an area of 13 acres. The central government provided Rs 98.72 crore, while the state government contributed Rs 54.68 crore. There is a large auditorium with 2000 seats in addition to two conference rooms with 500 seats each. The center has a large 800-seat dining room, an art gallery, an audiovisual room to international standards.
“Gaya and Bodh Gaya are the twin cities of gyan and moksha (knowledge and salvation). Most tourists from the state come to Gaya and Bodh Gaya,” the CM said.
“An international convention center was built in Rajgir and I also wanted such a center in Bodh Gaya. The cultural center here has better facilities than other centers in the state. Our motive is for tourists to stay here after visiting Mahabodhi Mahavihara. Normally, tourists visit the Mahavihara and return. The on-campus guesthouse would be an advantage,” he added.
MP CM Tarkishore Prasad, Minister of Construction Department Ashok Choudhary and Minister of Mines and Geology Janak Ram were also present on the occasion.
Industry Minister and Minister in charge of Gaya, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, said the government also aims to develop Gaya as a hub for tourism and industry. “Near Dobhi, an industrial park is being set up on an area of 1,600 acres. Also, the frequency of flight operations from Gaya airport would be improved to boost tourism,” he said.
Principal Secretary (Tourism) Santosh Kumar Mall welcomed the guests. Building Construction Department Secretary and Gaya Manager Kumar Ravi presented the detailed specifications of the center.
The CM also visited Mahabodhi Mahavihara where he offered prayers before the statue of Lord Buddha in the sanctum sanctorum. He unveiled the Jatak story panel carved on the western side enclosure wall of the Mahavihara, inaugurated the newly constructed four entrance gates of red and pink sandstone.
He also reviewed the construction works of the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) office.