India has agreed for the most revered Buddhist relics from Sarnath to be taken to Sri Lanka for public exposition on the occasion of Vesak festival. This is the first time relics from Sarnath are being brought to Sri Lanka from India, and special arrangements have been made for this purpose. They will be on public display at Temple Trees in Colombo for four days from 28 April 2018.
High Commission of India in Colombo said in a statement that the Relics are yet another manifestation of the shared Buddhist heritage of India and Sri Lanka, which forms a spiritual bond between the two nations. They are enshrined at Mulagandhakuti Vihara at Sarnath, which is historically significant since Lord Buddha preached his first sermon there.
Anagarika Dharmapala, founder of the Maha Bodhi Society of India, played a key role in building Mulagandhakuti Vihara to restore the glory of Sarnath. The land and the Sacred Relics were gifted to the Maha Bodhi Society of India by the Government of India.
This is the second time that India has taken initiative to exhibit the sacred relics of Lord Buddha in Sri Lanka. The first time such initiative was the exhibition of the Kapilavastu Relics in 2012.