The Golden Temple is the holy place of Bandarban

The Golden Temple is the holy place of Bandarban

One of the Buddhist shrines in Bandarban, the ‘Buddha Dhatu Jadi’ temple attracts tourists throughout the year. The temple is popularly known as the Golden Temple.The temple is situated on the top of a high hill in Balaghata area, nine kilometers from Bandarban city, a land of natural beauty.

In 1995 U Panya Jot Mahather started the construction of this temple for the local Marmas. In 2004, the construction of the largest Hinayan Buddhist temple in South Asia was completed. This information has emerged in a report of the news agency UNB.

Buddha Dhatu Jadi Mandir is considered a sacred place and place of worship by the Buddhist (Dhatu) community. This unique temple made of wood by Myanmar artisans houses the second largest Buddha statue in Bangladesh.

For a nominal entrance fee, visitors can see this architectural style and its scenic views. The temple has golden artwork and murals on the gates, surrounding railings and grounds. The topmost dome of the temple is also decorated in various ways.

The 12 Buddhist statues of various shapes outside the main temple add to the overall aesthetic. The various ‘mudras’ engraved on each statue are used to symbolize the teachings of Buddhism.

People from the Buddhist community come from different countries to see this temple, which is about 1,600 feet above the sea level.

No tourist is allowed to enter the temple after 6 pm except for performing puja or religious rituals.

A fair is organized in the temple premises every year at the end of January and beginning of February. Thousands of clay lamps are lit in the temple to commemorate the Buddha on full moon night.

A large number of tourists visit the temple now compared to the initial years of construction. However, locals say that the influx of tourists has now become a matter of concern for the temple. Because many tourists do not respect this holy place.

Speaking to a local, he said that most of the tourists forget that this is a holy place and cross the entry boundary and desecrate the Puranidarshan and various idols.

The temple was closed for nine long months from February to November 2016. According to the local administration, tourists from different parts of the country are ruining the sanctity of Buddhist temples, harassing devotees in various ways.

The situation improved somewhat after the security around the temple was tightened, but in recent months it has returned to its previous state.

Zobair Ahmed Shakil, a student of Dhaka University who came to see the temple, said that the local town should understand the bad feeling. Tourists should take extra care to avoid hurting religious sentiments while visiting holy places like the Golden Temple.

A local person said, ‘The number of tourists who come to see the temple are far more respectful than disrespectful.’

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