Smiling Buddha: How India successfully conducted first nuclear test in Pokhran


The test was codenamed ‘Smiling Buddha’ and conducted on May 18, 1974. The name was chosen because the test was conducted on Buddha Purnima that year. “The Buddha has finally smiled” was the message conveyed by Raja Ramanna, the director of India’s premier nuclear research institute Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

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