Modi offers prayers in Mayadevi Temple at Lumbini in Nepal
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepal counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba at the Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal on May 16, 2022.Twitter/PMO

Modi offers prayers in Mayadevi Temple at Lumbini in Nepal

Kathmandu, May 16, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by his Nepal counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba, offered prayers at the Mayadevi Temple at Lumbini in the Himalayan country today.

The two leaders paid their respects at the Marker Stone inside the temple premises, which pinpoints the exact birth spot of Lord Buddha.

They attended the "pooja" conducted as per Buddhist rituals.

The two Prime Ministers also lit lamps near the Ashoka Pillar located adjacent to the temple. The pillar, which was erected by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC, bears the first epigraphic evidence of Lumbini being the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

Thereafter, the two Prime Ministers watered the Bodhi tree sapling from Bodh Gaya which was gifted by the Prime Minister to Lumbini in 2014 and also signed the temple's visitor’s book.

Earlier, Modi reached Lumbini this morning on an official visit, coinciding with the occasion of Buddha Jayanti.

On arrival at Lumbini, he was warmly received by Deuba, his spouse Arzu Rana Deuba, and several Ministers from the Government of Nepal.

This is Modi's fifth visit to Nepal as Prime Minister and his first to Lumbini.

Later, Modi and Deuba performed the "shilanyas" ceremony for the construction of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone.

The centre will be constructed by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), New Delhi, on a plot allocated to IBC by the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), under an agreement signed between them in March 2022.

After the shilanyaas ceremony, which was performed by monks belonging to three major Buddhist traditions, Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, the two Prime Ministers also unveiled a model of the centre.

"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. It will be a modern building, NetZero compliant in terms of energy, water and waste handling, and will house prayer halls, meditation centers, library, exhibition hall, cafeteria, offices and other amenities," an official press release said.

NNN

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