Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 2566th Buddha Jayanti and Lumbini Day-2022, in Lumbini, Nepal on May 16, 2022. (Photo/PIB)
Lumbini: Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Lumbini, Nepal on May 16, 2022, coinciding with the auspicious occasion of Vaishakha Buddha Purnima, at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba.
As Prime Minister, this was Narendra Modi’s fifth visit to Nepal and first to Lumbini.
Both the Prime Ministers visited the Mayadevi temple, within which lies the birthplace of Lord Buddha. At the temple, the Prime Ministers attended prayers conducted as per Buddhist rituals and made offerings. The Prime Ministers lit lamps and visited the historical Ashoka Pillar, which carries the first epigraphic evidence of Lumbini being the birthplace of Lord Buddha. They also watered the holy Bodhi tree that was brought as a gift by Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Nepal in 2014.
Prime Minister Modi with his Nepalese counterpart participated in the “Shilanyas” ceremony for the construction of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage at a plot in Lumbini belonging to the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC).
The plot was allocated to the IBC by the Lumbini Development Trust in November 2021.
After the “Shilanyas” ceremony, the Prime Ministers also unveiled a model of the Buddhist centre, which is envisaged as a Net-Zero compliant world-class facility that would house prayer halls, meditation centre, library, exhibition hall, cafeteria and other amenities and would be open to Buddhist pilgrims and tourists from around the world. The built-up area is 6300 Sq metres and it will be the first building in Nepal with Net Zero Emission which it aims to achieve with Radiant Cooling technology & water bodies. The cost of the project is around Rs 9846.46 Lakh.
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi was warmly welcomed on arrival by the Nepalese Prime Minister, his spouse Dr Arzu Rana Deuba, Minister for Home Affairs Bal Krishna Khand, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Narayan Khadka, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Renu Kumari Yadav, Minister for Energy, Water Resources & Irrigation Pampha Bhusal, Minister for Culture, Civil Aviation and Tourism Prem Bahadur Ale, Minister for Education Devendra Paudel, Minister for Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs Govinda Prasad Sharma, and Chief Minister of Lumbini Province Kul Prasad KC. (Press Release)