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The famous White Horse Monastery in Luoyang in Henan Province of central China was built in the 1st century A.D. by Emperor Han Mingdi to house the first two Indian Buddhist monks from India in China. The two monks, Kashyapa Matanga and Dharmaratna, were said to have brought a number of Buddhist sutras on a white horse (hence the name White Horse Monastery), lived at the monastery and translated the sutras into Chinese. After they passed away, both of them were buried within the monastery complex, a rare honor for Buddhist monks in China. Today, the White Horse Monastery is an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhist devotees of China, besides being a major tourist attraction.

During Prime Minister Vajpayee’s visit to China in June 2003, it was announced that India will construct an Indian style Buddhist Temple in the White Horse Monast...

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