Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Lumbini on Monday to strengthen India-Nepal ties. During his address from the country, PM Modi said “Lord Ram is incomplete without Nepal”. The Prime Minister was visiting Nepal on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti.
Speaking about the ties between India and Nepal, Prime Minister mentioned the people are equally happy when a temple of Lord Ram is built in India. While addressing the citizens, the PM said he had said in Janakpur that “Ram is also incomplete without Nepal”.
“I know that when a temple of Lord Ram is built in India, the people of Nepal are as happy as us,” PM Modi said. In Nepal, Janakpur is considered to be the birthplace of the Hindu goddess Sita, Lord Ram’s wife.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to Lord Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini is expected to give the much-needed fillip to Nepal’s tourism sector still reeling from the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, a prominent Nepalese tourism entrepreneur said on Monday.
Modi at the invitation of his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba paid a day-long visit to Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima on Monday.
Prime Minister Modi and Deuba laid the foundation stone for a technologically-advanced India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini.
Once completed, the Centre will be a world-class facility welcoming pilgrims and tourists from all over the world to enjoy the essence of spiritual aspects of Buddhism, projecting India’s growing soft power.
Modi’s visit to Lumbini has sent a positive message to Nepal’s tourism sector, which is reeling under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, said Bikram Pandey, a tourism entrepreneur and goodwill ambassador of tourism for the Lumbini Development Trust.
Modi’s announcement that he is “honoured to be in Lumbini, to pay reverence at the sacred site of Lord Buddha’s birth” will have a significant contribution in promoting pilgrimage tourism in Nepal, Pandey said.
The prime minister’s visit has sent a message to all Buddhist pilgrims around the world that they should first visit Lumbini, where Buddha was born, before going to Bodh Gaya in Bihar, and Sarnath and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh — the other important sites associated with Buddha’s life, he said.
Lumbini, located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal, is one of the holiest places of Buddhism. Bodhgaya is the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment while Sarnath, located about 12 km from the ancient temple town of Varanasi, is the place where he preached his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. He is believed to have attained Mahaparinirvana in Kushinagar after his death.
Modi has come to Nepal not only as the Prime Minister of India but also as the leader and guide of 1.3 billion people of India, remarked Pandey, asserting that his Lumbini visit has added a new dimension to Nepal’s religious tourism.
(With inputs from agencies)