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ndian President Pradibha Singh Patil gives an address after she gave details of her and her family members on the launch day of the 2011 census at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on April 1, 2010. Photo: APDharamshala: Indian president Pratibha Devisingh Patil is to dedicate a Buddhist temple to the people of China when she visits the country next month. The temple has been inspired by the Sanchi Stupa and cost $4 million to build over the course of five years, according to IANS.

Constructed from Indian granite and marble, the structure marks 60 years of diplomatic ties between India and China and will be officially presented to the people on May 27.

It was in 2003, during the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to China that the idea was originally proposed. Since then, it has been completed in the ancient capital Luoyang of central China's Henan province.

An architectural design competition was organized by the Ministry of External Affairs which saw New Delhi architects Akshaya Jain and Raka Chakravarty take on the project.

Jain and Chakravarty found inspiration in the ancient Sanchi Stupa, built by emperor Asoka, in the area of Madhya Pradesh which is well known for its temples dating from the 3rd century B.C to the 12th Century A.D.

The final design features a dome 63 feet tall and 80 feet in diameter, with a glass roof opening onto the Buddha statue.

The statue itself is made from Chunar sandstone, the same as the Sarnath Buddha in Uttar Pradesh and stands 15 feet tall.

Elsewhere at the temple there is a ‘toran' welcome gate, two ‘dwarapals' (gate keepers) and a specific shrine for the Buddha's feet to be worshiped called the ‘paduka'.

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