Singapore, June 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong a replica of 6th century CE Buddhagupta Stele, as per sources. It bears Sanskrit phrases in Pallava script and serves as an important evidence of the transmission of Buddhism from India to Southeast Asia. This transmission is evident in the Straits and the Malay peninsular region. The inscription on the stone was the product of a Buddhist community that was residing along the coast of the Malay Peninsula.
A sangha of local and Indian monks supported by Malays and Indian merchants used to live along the coast. It was discovered by Lt. Col. James Low of the East India Company in Bujang Valley, Kedah, in 1834 in the ruins of what was believed to be a Buddhist monument. The original Buddhagupta Stele is currently housed at the Indian Museum in Kolkata. The replica was made by the Ministry of Culture in association with the Indian Museum in Kolkata.
Prime Minister Modi landed in Singapore on Thursday, where he received a rousing welcome from the crowd, most of the Indian, as he reached Hotel Fullerton on arriving in Singapore. Before Singapore, Prime Minister visited Indonesia and Malaysia in a bid to enhance India's relations and engagements with the three countries, who are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).