Cops preparing database of foreign monasteries in Bodh Gaya
Bihar Police are preparing a database of foreign monasteries and their guesthouses in Buddhism's holy town Bodh Gaya to streamline safety and security, an official said Friday.
"We are collecting information to make a database of foreign monasteries and their guesthouses in Bodh Gaya. The process is aimed at providing better safety and security to them," said Bodh Gaya police station chief T.N. Tiwari.
A district administration official in Gaya said the number of foreign monasteries and their guesthouses has been increasing and it was becoming difficult to keep track. "This is posing a problem for local authorities as they lack information about their location, the Buddhist monk who is in charge, their security and the inflow of tourists," he said.
"Some new foreign monasteries have been set up outside Bodh Gaya town, mostly in villages around it in view of cheap land available," he added.
According to the International Buddhist Council of India, Bodh Gaya chapter, there are 34 foreign monasteries, temples and other institutions in Bodh Gaya.
Bodh Gaya is Buddhism's holiest town. It is the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment over 2,550 years ago, and the town is visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year from India and abroad.
Last month, the security of the Mahabodhi temple that was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2002 was handed over to the special task force (STF) of Bihar Police in view of threats of a possible terrorist attack.