The 16 ft Sarnath Buddha Idol a gift from the people of India to the people of Sri Lanka and the installation of the Idol commemorates the 2600th year of Enlightenment of Lord Buddha, was ceremoniously opened on Saturday. It is an exquisite sculpture and a replica of the famous original 5th Century Gupta Period Idol from Sarnath, where Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining Enlightenment.
The Idol in the Dharmachakra pravartana mudra (turning the wheel of law) and its pedestal have been specially carved in India out of a single piece of beige-coloured Chunar sandstone by master craftsmen. Here High Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha, Governor of Central Province Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, Chief Minister of Central Province Sarath Ekanayake, and Diyawadana Nilame, unveiling the 16 ft. Idol of Lord Buddha at the entrance of the International Buddhist Museum, Kandy