Ancient Buddhist Temple near Kuakata Renovated with German Support

Ancient Buddhist Temple near Kuakata Renovated with German Support

The largest Buddha statue in Bangladesh is now well protected against rain and storms. The Charge´ d’Affaires of the German Embassy in Bangladesh Dr. Ferdinand von Weyhe and Madam Josephine von Weyhe inaugurated the newly renovated ‘Misripara Seema Budda Bihar’ at Kuakata today (Wednesday, 2April). The Country Director of Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Tobias Becker, and Dr. Purnima Doris Chattopadhayay-Dutt, Principal Advisor of the Coastal Livelihoods Adaptation Project (CLAP), GIZ, were present during the inauguration. The temple of the Buddhist Rakhine community is a major tourist attraction in the Kuakata area.

German Government has provided around 34 lakh taka for the renovation of the temple premises which were severely damaged by Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and Cyclone Aila in 2009. Around a third of this amount, 9.5 lac taka, comes directly from the German Embassy. This amount was topped up by GIZ, the implementing organization of the German Development Cooperation, which provided the remaining funds. The rehabilitation project was coordinated by the Coastal Livelihoods Adaptation Project (CLAP) of GIZ, together with its partner NGO Resource Development Foundation (RDF).

Expressing his satisfaction after seeing the renovated temple complex Dr von Weyhe said: “When the Ambassador and his wife visited this temple more than a year ago, it was in a bad shape. It was raining through the roof, and the site was unprotected. So we decided to renovate this precious site of worship which stands as a symbol of the multi-religious heritage of Bangladesh”. Dr von Weyhe also expressed his hope that the renovation will ensure the safety and preservation of this ancient temple complex for a long time to come.

GIZ Country Director Tobias Becker said: “The renovation of the temple premises, which are situated in one of the prime tourist destinations of Bangladesh, will not only help to preserve the country’s cultural heritage, but also contribute to the development of the local economy.”

Remembering the Ambassador’s visit in October 2012, Dr. Purnima Doris Chattopadhayay-Dutt added: “After the Ambassador, his wife and I visited ‘Misripara Buddha Bihar’ at Kuakata in 2012, we noticed how badly this ancient temple had been damaged during cyclones Sidr and Aila. It is a moment of joy for all of us to see that this famous Buddha statue is now well protected again”

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