Dr. Ambedkar delivering a speech to a rally at Yeola, Nasik, on 13 October 1935. Dr. Ambedkar had already declared in 1935 that although he was born as a Hindu but he would not die as one, conversion was the solution to escape from the caste system. After this declaration, he extensively studied the doctrines of all the major religions to choose Buddhism for himself and his followers. Buddhism was 2,550 years old in 1956, so it was notable year for global celebration and 14 October was the traditional date of conversion of greatest Buddhist King, Ashoka Maurya, the celebration of Ashok Vijaya Dashmi. He selected Nagpur for his conversion ceremony, as he explained in his speech at that occasion, because Nagpur was the homeland of Nag people who embraced Buddhism, supported it with great efforts in its early period and propagated it throughout India. Ground near the Ramdaspeth area in Nagpur was selected for the ceremony. On October 14, 1956, Dr. Ambedkar and his wife Mrs. Savita Ambedkar took oath of Three Jewels and Five Precepts from the Burmese monk Mahastha vir Chandramani from Kushinagar. Ambedkar then gave the oath of Three Jewels, five precepts, and 22 Vows to his thousands of followers. In this way, Nagpur became the the birth place of Neo Buddhist movement. Dr. Ambedkar died on December 6, 1956, just one and a half months after the Deeksha ceremony. But this ceremonial conversion continued after his death, converting 15-20 million by March 1959.
After his death Dr. Ambedkar Smarak Samiti (Dr.Ambedkar Memorial committee) was organized for the management of Deekshabhoomi. The committee decided to build a Stupa at the place as a monument of that ceremony and a mass conversion of people to Buddhism. Deekshabhoomi is famous for its architectural beauty and historical importance. It is also one of the main centers of tourism in India. It is a prominent place of tourism for domestic and foreign tourists. Every year, thousands of tourists visit Deekshabhoomi, especially on the anniversary of the conversion ceremony. Foreign tourists come mainly from the Buddhist countries such as Japan and Thailand. The President of India has recently inaugurated this majestic monuments that is a symbol of national integration and secularism and a place of pride for Nagpurians.
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