LAHORE - The most sacred relics of Lord Buddha from Taxila, Pakistan are currently being exhibited for the general public in the Sri Lankan cities of Bodirukkaramaya, Diyasenpure, Medirigiriya for two days from June 16 to 17, 2016.

 Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka said yesterday that after the two days long exposition in Polonnaruwa, the sacred relics of the Lord Buddha will be taken to Anuradhapura for exposition on 18 and 19th June, 2016. Thereafter, the holy relics will be taken to Kandy for exposition on 20 and 21st June before bringing them back to Colombo on 22nd June 2016.

The sacred relics include two holy bone relics of the Buddha, a golden casket containing the relics and a stone reliquary in stupa shape. The relic casket of steatite with a miniature gold casket inside, containing holy bone relics were discovered near the Dharmarajika stupa in Taxila Pakistan. The steatite casket is 7.5 inch high and has been well turned on the lath. It has adorned with shallow incised lines round its body and provided with handle on the led in the shape of a miniature casket.

Dharmarajika stupa is the earliest and the largest Buddhist religious complex at Taxila. It is situated on the bank of Dharma rivulet. It was built to enshrine the redistributed holy relics of the Buddha by the famous Mauryan king Asoka the great who was also known as Dharmaraja for his services to Buddhism. Thus it named Dharmarajika.

Dharmarajika was excavated by Ghulam Qadir in 1912-16 under the directions of Sir John Marshall and A.D Siddiqui in 1934-36. The circular stupa has a diameter of 131 feet and 45 feet high drum, constructed in solid stone masonry.

The Gandhara civilization was not only the center of spiritual influence but also the cradle of the world famous Gandhara culture, art and learning. It was from these centers that a unique art of sculpture originated which is known as Gandhara Art all over the world.