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India -Nepal ties stood test of time says PM Modi; To visit Lumbini, Nepal tomorrow on the occasion of Vaishakha Buddha Purnima

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Lumbini, Nepal tomorrow at the invitation of his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba. He will participate in the Shilanyas ceremony for the construction of a unique centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage within the Lumbini Monastic Zone.

At Lumbini, Prime Minister will visit the sacred Mayadevi temple to offer prayers. He will also deliver an address at a Buddha Jayanti event organized by the Lumbini Development Trust under the aegis of the Government of Nepal.

The construction of the unique India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage with a universal appeal will be undertaken by the International Buddhist Confederation, India under the auspices of the Lumbini Development Trust with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. International Buddhist Confederation, is a grantee body under the Ministry of Culture. The Buddhist Centre will be the first Net Zero Emission building in Nepal.

Also, on the occasion, the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the International Buddhist Confederation is hosting a programme for the Vaishakha Buddha Purnima Divas celebrations in New Delhi.

The Chief Guest for the event will be Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, while the Guest of Honour will be Union Culture and Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy with Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal as special guest.

In Prime Minister’s departure statement, Mr Modi said, he is looking forward to offer prayers at the Mayadevi Temple on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti. The Prime Minister said, he is honoured to follow in the footsteps of millions of Indians to pay reverence at the sacred site of Lord Buddha’s birth.

Mr Modi said, he also look forward to meet Prime Minister Deuba again after the productive discussions during his visit to India last month. He said, we will continue to build on our shared understanding to expand cooperation in multiple areas, including in hydropower, development and connectivity.

The Prime Minister said, apart from visiting the holy Mayadevi Temple, he will be participating in Shilanyas ceremony of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone. He will also attend celebrations to mark the occasion of Buddha Jayanti organised by the Government of Nepal.

Mr Modi said, India’s ties with Nepal are unparalleled. He said, the civilisational and people-to-people contacts between India and Nepal form the enduring edifice of our close relationship. The Prime Minister said, his 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 significance of the timing of the Prime Minister’s visit to Nepal is to coincide with the inauguration of Lumbini Buddhist Centre with the Holy Vaishakha Buddha Purnima Divas.

The day is recognized as the thrice blessed day that marks the Birth, Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha. While Buddha was born in Lumbini in Nepal, he attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya in Bihar, preached his first sermon at Sarnath and attained Nirvana in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.

Lumbini is the holy place where according to Buddhist tradition, Queen Mahamayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama at around 623 B.C.

Among the early pilgrims was the emperor Ashoka, who erected one of his commemorative pillars there. The site is now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha form a central feature.

Some of the other Viharas and Monasteries in the area are the Myanmar’s Golden Temple, Tara Foundation Temple, The Sri Lanka Monastery, the Korean Temple (Dae Sung Shakya), the Cambodian Monastery and the Vietnamese Phat QuocTu Temple.

Lumbini is one of the holiest and most important places in Nepal as a result of which it was included in the list of World Heritage areas by UNESCO.

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), India- with its headquarters in New Delhi, was formed in 2013 as an international Buddhist umbrella body to serve as a common platform for Buddhists worldwide.

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