Unlike the Statue of Unity, the Lord Buddha statue has not been planned by the Gujarat government but by a Buddhist body, Sanghakaya Foundation, in Gandhinagar district. The non-profit organisation has now sought land from the state government for construction of the project.
According to a PTI report, Noida-based sculptor Ram Sutar, who designed the famous Statue of Unity, has been roped in for the project. Sanghakaya Foundation president Bhante Prashil Ratna said contrary to the belief that ancient Buddhist sites exist only in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and further to the north, Gujarat, too, has been blessed with such sites.
“Like Nalanda and Takshashila, records of Chinese traveller Xuanzang mention that there was a big Buddhist university called Vallabhi at Bhavnagar in Gujarat. As (ancient) Nalanda university has been revived, we wish to revive Vallabhi university here,” he said. The organisation has already got land in Gandhinagar from the Gujarat government to start a Buddhist university.