Bhubaneswar, June 13 (LocalWire): The Japanese hockey team here to participate in the FIH Men’s Series Finals, visited one of the popular landmarks of Odisha’s Buddhist heritage – Dhauli International Peace Pagoda (Shanti Stupa), in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
Dhauli Giri Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist structure built jointly by the Japan Buddha Sangh and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangh in 1972.
It was built to mark the Kalinga War that was fought along the banks of Daya River around 261 BC.
The team went around the Stupa and also visited the temples nearby.
The 26-member team was accompanied by the Odisha Sports swimming coach, Koichi Watanabe, who is also Japanese.
Siegfried Aikman, head coach of the hockey team said, ‘It was once in a lifetime experience for me and my players to visit the Dhauli temple.
I am aware about the devastation caused by Cyclone Fani but its great to see the spirit of the people of Odisha, who are working so hard to rebuild everything.
‘Hosting international tournaments isn’t only about promoting sports but also tourism and the cultural exchanges which takes place is an experience in itself.
All players coming to Odisha are like ‘brand ambassadors’ of tourism for the state and its always good to have them take some time out and visit the tourist places of the state,’ Vishal K. Dev, commissioner-cum-Secretary, Odisha Tourism and Odisha Sports said.
Japan will face India in the semi-finals tomorrow at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar 7pm onwards.