YEREVAN: "Ajanta in Armenia", this is what External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday after he visited the famed heritage sites here and commented on the deep historical ties between the Caucasus nation and India.
"The Armenia-India connect so visible in the Matenadaran library in Yerevan. First Armenian newspaper and Constitution that were published in Madras (Chennai)," S Jaishankar tweeted, attaching photographs of him seeing the 18th century documents.
Established in 1959, the Matenadaran Library is one of the world's largest repositories of ancient manuscripts.
Later, Jaishankar, the first Indian External Affairs Minister to visit Armenia, toured the National Gallery of Armenia.
"Ajanta in Armenia. Paintings of the caves by noted Armenian Artist Sarkis Khachaturian at National Gallery of Armenia in Yerevan. Also at Matenadaran library, a copy of the Mahabharata in Sanskrit," Jaishankar tweeted, along with photographs of the historical pieces.
Ajanta in Armenia. Paintings of the caves by noted Armenian Artist Sarkis Khachaturian at National Gallery of Armenia in Yerevan. pic.twitter.com/nsYDRTgU2t— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) October 13, 2021
The Buddhist Caves in Ajanta date back to 2nd Century.
They are 30 rock-cut cave monuments in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
Jaishankar on Tuesday arrived in Armenia on the last leg of his three-nation tour to Central Asia with an aim to further expand bilateral ties and discuss key regional issues including the developments in Afghanistan.
Earlier during a joint press statement with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan, Jaishankar said: "Relations between the two countries actually go back several centuries.
And there is recorded history with the presence of Armenian diaspora in India, and the rich Armenian heritage with churches, cemeteries and education institutions.
"To add, a stamp was issued by the Armenia Post in the 1990s of a church in Chennai, which is fondly etched in my memory.
Armenian heritage has been preserved with great care and respect for all traditions.
And the Armenian community's contributions to India's progress has been noteworthy," he said.
During the meeting with Mirzoyan, Jaishankar, stressed the need for enhanced connectivity and proposed that the strategic Chabahar Port in Iran be included in the North-South Transport Corridor that has the potential to bridge connectivity barriers.