PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ramayan Circuit bus service from Nepal's Janakpur to Ayodhya.
Janakpur, Nepal: After weeks of hectic campaigning in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Nepal's Janakpur, 225 km from capital Kathmandu. PM Modi and Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli inaugurated a bus service from Janakpur to Ayodhya - known to be Lord Ram's birthplace - to promote religious tourism in Nepal and India. Apart from holding meetings with the Nepal Prime Minister and other leaders during his two-day visit to the Himalayan nation, PM Modi is visiting three Hindu pilgrimage centres in Nepal. This is his third visit to the country as Prime Minister.
Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to PM Narendra Modi's visit to Nepal:
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)
- Addressing a crowd during a reception in Janakpur, PM Modi - who wore a traditional pink turban - said Nepal comes first in India's "Neighbourhood First" policy.
- PM Modi and his Nepalese counterpart, KP Sharma Oli, jointly inaugurated the Ramayan Circuit Bus Route that connects Janakpur, 225 km from capital Kathmandu, to Ayodhya. "For centuries the ties between Ayodhya and Janakpur are unbreakable," PM Modi said.
- "Without Nepal, India's faith is incomplete. Without Nepal, India's history is incomplete. Without Nepal, India's dhams (temples) are incomplete. Without Nepal, our Ram is incomplete," PM Modi said after flagging off the bus.
- High security is in place in Janakpur, Kathmandu and Muktinath where PM Modi is visiting. Close to 11,000 security personnel from both countries will be deployed during the visit.
- The Indian government has identified 15 destinations in India, including Ayodhya, Nandigram, Hampi and Nagpur for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme.
- PM Modi and KP Sharma Oli will hold one-on-one talks in Kathmandu later today. He will also meet the Nepal president, vice president and leaders of major political parties. In Kathmandu, PM Modi will offer prayers at the famous Pashupatinath temple.
- The foundation stone for a hydroelectricity project in the eastern Nepal district of Sankhuwasabha will be laid by PM Modi via video conferencing. Indian government-owned Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam is handling the project in Nepal.
- Tomorrow, PM Modi will offer prayers at the Muktinath temple, on the foothills of the Thorong La mountain pass. He is expected to announce a "surprise gift" for its development .
- "I am confident that my visit will further cement our people-centric partnership with Nepal on the basis of mutual benefit, goodwill and understanding," PM Modi said in a statement.
- PM Modi's visit comes a month after Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli visited India last month.
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