An official has said that Bodh Gaya's Mahabodhi temple - one of Buddhism's holiest shrines - plans to set up a world class hospital and medical college with international financial aid in the holy town in Bihar.
"The temple management committee have decided to establish a Buddhist world hospital and medical college in Bodh Gaya with the help of Buddhist countries of southeast Asia," the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee secretary N. Dorjee said.
Dorjee told IANS over telephone that it will be first such development project in Bodh Gaya with the sole aim to serve poor and provide them best medical and health care.
"I am happy to disclose that a number of officials of embassies of Buddhist countries of southeast Asia have shown keen interest to help the proposed project in Bodh Gaya," Dorjee said.
Dorjee said that funding for the project would not be a problem. "Most of the 22 countries of southeast Asia are going to fund the project as it would come up at Bodh Gaya," he said.
The committee has already approached the Gaya district administration for land and other requirements.
"We would start work on the project soon after the land is provided to us by the state government," Dorjee said.
The Mahabodhi temple was declared a World Heritage Site in June 2002 by the UNESCO. Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment 2,500 years ago near this temple.