KATHMANDU: India is ready to be the 'Sherpa' to help Nepal scale the mountain of success, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, hailing the Himalayan nation's successful journey from bullets to ballots.
Addressing a civic reception programme to honour him here, Modi stressed on the special relation shared by the two neighbours and admired Nepal's spirit of resilience and commitment towards democracy.
"Nepal has covered a long journey from Yuddh to Buddh (War to Peace). You have left the bullet to opt the ballot way. But this not the destination. You have to go a long way," Modi told the gathering.
"You have reached the base camp of the Mt Everest and the main climb is yet to be done. And the way mountaineers are strongly helped by Sherpas to scale the summit, much the same way India is ready to work as the Sherpa for Nepal," he said, amid applause.
Prime Minister Modi said India stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Nepal in its development journey.
'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' is as much about global well being as it's about India's growth, he added.
"India has always worked for global good. India has taken the lead in mitigating the menace of climate change. The International Solar Alliance has brought together nations from across the world," he said.
Describing Kathmandu as a mixture of the ancient and the modern era, Modi said the city showcases the culture of Nepal.
"There is something unique about the beauty of Kathmandu," he said.
"Nepal is a country of diversity and Kathmandu is a world in its own," Modi said.
"The diversity gives fresh air to any outsider." Modi also expressed his desire to travel to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha in his future visit.
"During my previous visits I prayed at Pashupatinath. This time, in addition to Pashupatinath, I went to Janakpur and Muktinath. These places illustrate close ties between our nations," he said.
He repeated 'Nepal Bhaarat Maitri Amar Rahos (Long live Nepal-India Friendship)' thrice at the end of his speech.
Earlier, Kathmandu Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya presented symbolic key of the city to Modi, which symbolises that the door to Kathmandu would always remain open to him.
Modi was also presented with various memoir tokens including a 55-kg Lord Buddha statue.
Delivering the welcome speech at the function, Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said the relations between Nepal and India will continue to deepen and widen in the coming days.