The sacred Kapilavastu Relics brought to Sri Lanka from India will be taken back to India ceremonially today after the successful conclusion of the exposition at ten venues in the country.
The relics brought by the Indian Minister of Culture Kumari Selja on August 19 in a special aircraft of the Indian government will leave for India in a special aircraft organized by the Sri Lankan government.
In a ceremony at the Colombo International Airport, hundreds of Buddhist monks will chant Pirith before the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics leave Sri Lanka for India.
Mahanayakas of all four chapters, Members of the Mahasangha, the Minister of Culture and Arts and a number of senior officials would be accompanying the Relics on their return journey to India, the High Commission of India in Colombo said.
The exposition of Sacred Relics, sent to Sri Lanka after a gap of 34 years, was originally planned at seven venues and scheduled to conclude on September 5. This was extended by one week at the special request of the Sri Lankan government and three additional venues were added.
During the 25 days of exposition at ten venues, approximately three million Sri Lankans have paid homage to the Sacred Relics.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, along with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and High Commissioner of India Ashok Kantha received the Relics at Gangaramaya Temple on their arrival from Tissamaharama Temple on September 8.
Sri Lankan authorities had made extensive arrangements at all the venues including the provision of water, food and first aid for the millions braved the elements and lined up miles to pay homage to the Sacred Relics.
The exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics was the grand finale of a series of initiatives jointly undertaken with the Sri Lankan government, over the past several months, to commemorate the 2600th Anniversary of Enlightenment of Buddha.
The Exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics in Sri Lanka reinforced the common cultural heritage shared between India and Sri Lanka and further strengthened the multi-faceted relationship that the two countries share, the High Commission of India said in its statement.