LUMBINI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday participated in the foundation stone laying ceremony for the construction of a Centre of Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini, on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti.
The plot where the foundation was laid belongs to the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and lies within the Lumbini Monastic Zone.
PM Modi today started his Nepal visit with a visit to the Maya Devi Temple. Prime Minister was accompanied by PM Deuba and his spouse Arzu Rana Deuba.
The PMs 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.
Lumbini, Nepal | PM Modi along with Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba lays foundation stone for the construction of a centre for Buddhist culture & heritage, in a plot belonging to the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), Delhi within the Lumbini Monastic Zone pic.twitter.com/BORvjJdcMk— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2022
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 PM Modi to Lumbini in 2014 and also signed the temple's visitor's book. PM Modi arrived in Lumbini this morning on an official visit.
On arrival at Lumbini, Prime Minister was warmly received by the Nepal PM, his spouse Arzu Deuba, and several Ministers from the Government of Nepal. As Prime Minister, this is his fifth visit to Nepal and first to Lumbini.