The construction of the ‘International Buddhist Assembly and Meditation Hall’ in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, has reached its final stage.
The contract period of Buddhist Assembly and Meditation Hall has been extended till Ashoj 2077 BS as the work of the meeting hall, which is targeted to be completed by July 2076 BS, was not completed within the stipulated time.
This meeting was not in the Lumbini master plan. But Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli announced plans to build a 5,000-seat assembly hall.
The foundation stone was laid by President Vidyadevi Bhandari on the occasion of the 2562nd Buddha Jayanti. Anak-Arghakhanchi-Babul JV Siddharthnagar had won a contract worth Rs. 317.9 million for the construction of structures including assembly hall.
The assembly hall alone is being built at 386.88 square meters. In the first phase, an assembly hall, two toilets, and a control room will be built. The Lumbini Development Fund has stated that the contract has been extended until mid-October as 10 percent of the work of the first phase is still pending.
Gyanin Rai, acting member secretary of the fund, said that more than 50 workers worked during the lockdown. According to him, the work from the floor to the roof of the assembly hall has been completed so far while the work of false ceiling and other finishing work remains to be done.
“As per the special interest of the departmental minister, the work has been completed during the lockdown period,” said Rai.
The roof of the meeting hall spread over an area of 38,000 square meters is made of truss of 50 mm EPS sandwich panel. The height of the hall ranges from 12.33 meters to 20.49 meters.
Mosaic is used after the slope on the floor and pillars. Saroj Bhattarai, the senior engineer of the fund, said, “The special feature of this assembly hall is the new design and the technology of automatic partitioning as per the need.”
The fund said the assembly hall was designed using the same style and style of South Asian steel and iron.
The Korean Gumba-style circular roof and the center of the outside of the roof are designed to shape the two eyes of the Buddha (the two eyes of Swayambhu).
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had instructed the Lumbini Development Fund to build a 5,000-capacity assembly hall in Lumbini after the 2560th Buddha Jayanti celebrations of 2073 BS were disrupted by wind and rain.
The foundation stone was laid two years after the Prime Minister’s directive in selecting, designing, estimating the cost and contracting the consultant for the construction of the conference hall. In the first phase, a meeting hall will be formed.
In the second phase, it is planned to carry out general civil works including waiting room for special guests, compound wall, landscape, parking, electrification, attractive water fountain with Buddha statue, beautification, two toilet building. The project, which is targeted to be completed before the upcoming Buddha Jayanti, is estimated to cost around Rs 400 million.
With the construction of the auditorium and meditation center, the site will be an attractive destination not only for Buddhists around the world but also for researchers, said Bhikkhu Awadhesh Tripathi, vice-chairman of the fund.