Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand visited Sanchi in MP on Tuesday morning where she saw Buddhist relics of importance.
In the afternoon, she returned to Bhopal and had a lunch meeting with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other state functionaries before flying to Delhi with her entourage of over 30 people.
At Sanchi, the casket having the relics of Buddha’s two main disciples Sariputta and Maha Moggallana was opened for her. The relics are put out for public display and worship only once a year during a fair. The relics were opened in presence of Raisen collector Lokesh Kumar Jatav.
In 1851, British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham found a single bone relic of Sariputta and two bone relics of Maha Moggallana inside a stupa at Sanchi, the 3rd century BC Buddhist complex. The relics are now enshrined in Chetiyagiri Vihara built by Maha Bodhi Society.
On Monday Princess Sirindhorn was conferred the first World Sanskrit Award by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in Delhi. She is an eminent scholar of Sanskrit and Pali and has been a patron of Sanskrit studies in Thailand. The Thai princess was the Royal Patron of the World Sanskrit Conference held in Bangkok last year.