People of Thailand identify with Bodhgaya in more ways than one; regular air connectivity between Bangkok and Bodhgaya during October-March is only a miniscule reflection on it. Thailand has more than two millennium years of history of relationship with Bodhgaya since the time Emperor Ashok sent Uttara and Sona in 326 BC to Thailand known in annals of history as Suvanbhumi (Golden Land). No wonder, Bangkok airport is still called 'suvarnabhumi airport'.
Historically, the relationship became significant with the resurgence of Buddhism when replica of Chiengmai Temple were built in Thailand during the 15th century. In modern times, Thai temple located in Bodhgaya is the best exponent of the tangible visual form of the architectural heritage of Thailand which was built in 1956. Recently in 2013, the historic bond between Bodhgaya and Thailand reached a new zenith with the gift of 300 kg of gold by the King of Thailand for adding a golden spire to the Bodhgaya Temple.
By focussing on Thailand, the Global Dialogue on Heritage, Sustainable Development and Enlightenment will explore the glorious recall of this historic and contemporary relationship between Bodhgaya and Thailand. The dialogue will have a special session with the participation of the scholars, young researchers, monks, development practitioners, leaders in governments as well as industries representing from Thailand.
Watch this space for details about invited speakers and the topics they explore.