Buddhist Monks Retrace Odyssey with Hopes for Cultural Exchange

January 17, 2006

Source: China Daily


On January 17, 2006 the China Daily reported, "Xuanzang, a Buddhist pilgrim who endured a 17-year trip from China to India 1350 years ago, now has successors to his odyssey. Two Buddhist monks from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, with two scholars from Hong Kong and Macao, are scheduled to set out this May from the ancient city of Xi'an, in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province. In a six-month trip, they will follow in the footsteps of Xuanzang, crossing Pakistan and Nepal to Nalanda, the once famous centre of Buddhist learning in India where Xuanzang used to reside. But unlike Xuanzang, his successors are not looking for Sanskrit texts. Instead, they are hoping for better communication and cultural exchange between the two countries, said the Venerable Xuecheng, vice-president of the Chinese Buddhist Association, at a Beijing press conference yesterday. He described the trip as 'very significant,' as this year marks the Year of China-India Friendship. The journey will also give the public a better understanding of Buddhism, he said."