TIES WITH NEPAL UNPARALLELED, SAYS PM AHEAD OF LUMBINI VISIT
On the eve of his departure for Nepal on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed India’s ties with Nepal as “unparalleled” and said he was looking forward to meeting Nepalese PM Sher Bahadur Deuba after their “productive” discussions in India last month.
“Our ties with Nepal are unparalleled. The civilisational and people-to-people contacts between India and Nepal form the enduring edifice of our close relationship. My visit is intended to celebrate and further deepen these time-honoured linkages that have been fostered through centuries and recorded in our long history of inter-mingling,” the PM said in his customary departure statement.
“I look forward to offering prayers at the Mayadevi Temple on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti,” said the PM about his visit to Lumbini on Buddha Purnima.
The PM will begin his day on arrival by visiting the Mayadevi Temple and attend a special prayer accompanied by Deuba. He will also light a butter lamp in front of the Ashokan Pillar, and water the Bodhi tree, gifted by PM Modi during his 2014 visit. The PM will perform Bhoomi Poojan and lay the foundation stone of India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage.
A bilateral meeting between the two PMs is also scheduled to undertake a comprehensive review of recent agreements. Some MoUs on cooperation in cultural and educational sectors are expected to be exchanged between the two countries after the bilateral meeting. Deuba will host a lunch in the honour of PM Modi, who will then attend the 2,566th Buddha Jayanti celebration and address a large gathering of people from Nepal and India, including Buddhist scholars and monks.
In his previous visits to Nepal as PM, Modi has visited places of religious significance like Pashupatinath Temple (Kathmandu), Janaki Mata Temple (Janakpur Dham) and Muktinath Temple (Mustang).
Deuba too visited places of religio-cultural significance to both nations during his last month’s visit to Varanasi.