Situated on the slopes of Mahindra Hills, Secunderabad, Anand Buddha Vihara is a place that is known for encompassing serenity and picturesque beauty with a very pleasant tone. This Vihara was started in 1974 and has been a registered society, managed by local traditional Buddhists since 1996. Their aim was to disseminate the Buddhist values and revive their culture, which was prominent in Andhra Pradesh almost a century ago. On April 6th, 2003, His holiness The Dalai Lama dedicated the statue of Lord Buddha in a position known as the Dhamma Desana Mudra and the Vihara to the nation and the Buddhist world. With a Buddhist monastery, a meditation hall, museum and rest houses for the Buddhist monks, Anand Buddha Vihara is considered to be the heart of the Buddhist activities that take place in the twin cities, Hyderabad and Secunderabad and in other parts of our state.
Just as Buddhism connotes peace and serenity of the mind, the pleasant location of Anand Buddha Vihara indulges in imparting the same. Young or old, people of all ages are often found coming here in search of their share of peace of mind and to take a break from their normal hectic lifestyle. Madhu, a regular visitor says, “I come here very often. It makes me feel good. It helps me beat any kind of tension. I come here, spend quality time with myself and go back with a clear and peaceful mind.” Pavan says, “If I come here before any big exam, I’m sure of making it through. I make sure I spend at least half an hour before every exam I write. It is so peaceful out here.”
“Apart from the serene atmosphere, it’s the scenic beauty that pulls me to this place. I come here, enjoy the beautiful ‘over the cliff’ view of the city and capture it in my camera,” Says Prakash.
Following the Buddhist traditions and values, the main aims and objectives at this Vihara have been to disseminate Buddhism and provide various other humanitarian services. When asked about the aims and benefits of the meditation hall, one of the monks said, “It helps to inculcate the habit of meditation among people and imparts social values. I personally feel it’s a place for introspection.” Kannan, an observant nearby local says, “This Vihara is situated in such a place that it welcomes both, the plush neighborhood and the lower income dwellings.“ Ram, a cynical observer of the surroundings of the Vihara says, “If not for the beggars, this would have been a better place!”
When asked about the other social objectives of the Vihara, the monk said, “We believe in providing facilities to the poor and the needy. We provide various facilities for the orphans and the estranged senior citizens by establishing schools and hospitals. We also impart education about Buddhist literature and the teachings of Lord Buddha himself.”
The Vihara also boasts of well-maintained gardens with adequate lighting facilities which give it a well-lit look in the evenings. Also situated under a Peepal tree is a well sculpted statue of Lord Buddha. Under this very tree, the monks of the Vihara perform their daily religious rites. At the office of the Vihara, in the ground floor, there are various self-help books for sale which impart the values of Buddhism.
Inspite of the negative aspect put forth by Mr.Ram, Anand Buddha Vihara stands out for its well maintained gardens, serene atmosphere and the ambience. Although the roads leading to it are well constructed, the directions may come across as being a little tricky. In any case, Anand Buddha Vihara is the place to be when in need of a break for solace and comfort.