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PM Modi Nepal Visit Highlights: India-Nepal relations are unshakeable like the Himalayas, says PM Modi

PM Modi in Nepal: Narendra Modi and Nepalese PM Sher Bahadur Deuba Monday held bilateral talks in Lumbini after laying the foundation stone of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 17, 2022 7:49:34 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers his address in Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.

PM Narendra Modi, in his speech at the Buddha Jayanti event in Lumbini, said India and Nepal relations are unshakeable like the Himalayas. He also said that India and Nepal’s ever-strengthening friendship will benefit the entire humanity in the emerging global situation.

PM Modi and Nepalese PM Sher Bahadur Deuba Monday held bilateral talks in Lumbini after laying the foundation stone of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage. Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi called it an “opportunity to strengthen ongoing cooperation and develop new areas in our multifaceted partnership.” Earlier, PM Modi had offered prayers at the Maya Devi temple. Sharing images from the visit, Modi tweeted, “I feel blessed to have prayed at the Maya Devi Temple on Buddha Purnima.” The PM was received by his Nepalese counterpart Monday morning as he arrived in Lumbini.

The construction of the Buddhist Centre comes decades after most foreign nations, including the US, China, Canada, France, Germany and Thailand, among others, built their centres in Lumbini as an instrument of promoting Buddhist philosophy. It is expected to cost Rs. 1 billion and take three years to complete.

 

Live Blog

PM Modi in Nepal: Modi lays foundation stone of India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage, held bilateral talks with Nepal PM Deuba.

21:40 (IST)16 May 2022
Nepal PM Deuba inaugurates Chinese-built international airport near Lumbini

Nepal's Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday inaugurated the country's second international airport built by China that will help connect Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a major tourist and pilgrimage destination, to Buddhist circuits in South Asia as well as to the rest of the world.

The $76 million Gautam Buddha International Airport was inaugurated on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima and also held comprehensive talks with his Nepalese counterpart Deuba to expand bilateral cooperation in multiple areas, including in hydropower, development and connectivity between the two neighbouring countries. (PTI)

20:21 (IST)16 May 2022
PM Modi's visit to Lumbini will help boost Nepal's pilgrimage tourism, says expert

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first visit to Lord Buddha's birthplace Lumbini is expected to give the much-needed fillip to Nepal's tourism sector still reeling from the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, a prominent Nepalese tourism entrepreneur said Monday. 

Modi at the invitation of his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba paid a day-long visit to Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima on Monday. 

Modi's visit to Lumbini has sent a positive message to Nepal's tourism sector, which is reeling under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, said Bikram Pandey, a tourism entrepreneur and goodwill ambassador of tourism for the Lumbini Development Trust. Modi's announcement that he is "honoured to be in Lumbini, to pay reverence at the sacred site of Lord Buddha's birth" will have a significant contribution in promoting pilgrimage tourism in Nepal, Pandey said. (PTI)

18:22 (IST)16 May 2022
Opinion | Buddhism provides India a cultural inroad in Nepal – it may not be enough to counter China

For long, Lumbini and its people felt uncomfortable, even angry, over the projection of the Buddha as Indian. There was also the feeling that it was being treated unfairly by Indian tour handlers. Package deals for tourists and pilgrims from across the world would only make a fleeting visit to the Buddha’s birth place, before being herded back to Buddhist shrines in India, denying Nepal its due economic gain.

Nearly eight years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to address this issue when he told Nepal’s Constituent Assembly that the Buddha was born in Nepal. On Buddha Poornima on Monday, Modi made a trip to Lumbini, becoming the first Indian PM to do so. He offered prayers at the Mayadevi temple, believed to be the Buddha’s birthplace, in the company of highly-respected Buddhist masters, and then laid the foundation for the International Buddhist Conference and Meditation Centre.

The trip, a month after Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba visited India, is being projected as a “cultural visit” but there are many who call it India’s late awakening from a deep diplomatic slumber. Delhi has been indifferent to the deep inroads China has been making in Nepal. Modi landed at a newly-built helipad close to the Mayadevi temple, avoiding the Gautam Buddha International Airport, built with a soft loan from China and co-incidentally inaugurated by his host earlier in the morning on the auspicious day. (Read more)

17:18 (IST)16 May 2022
SJVN to develop hydel 490 MW Arun-4 power project worth Rs 4,900 crore in Nepal

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of the 490 MW Arun-4 hydro electric project in Nepal has been signed in Lumbini, Nepal in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba, the company said in a statement Monday.

SJVN Chairman and Managing Director Nand Lal Sharma said it will be the third mega project to be constructed by the company in Nepal. The construction of 900 MW Arun-3 project is in progress and the 669 MW Lower Arun project is at the survey and investigation stage.

With the MoU, signed by Sharma and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Managing Director Kulman Ghising, SJVN has three projects with a total capacity of 2,059 MW in Nepal. According to Sharma, SJVN is targeting to have 5,000 MW projects in Nepal by 2030. (PTI)

16:37 (IST)16 May 2022
India and Nepal’s ever-strengthening friendship will benefit entire humanity in emerging global situation: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that India and Nepal’s ever-strengthening friendship and their closeness will benefit the entire humanity in the emerging global situation.

PM Modi and Nepal PM Deuba hold bilateral talks in Lumbini. (Twitter)

Modi, who is in the Himalayan nation at the invitation of his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on a day-long visit to Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, also said that India and Nepal relations are unshakeable like the Himalayas.

“India and Nepal’s ever-strengthening friendship and our closeness will benefit the entire humanity in the kind of global conditions that are emerging,” Modi said while addressing the International Buddhist Conference in Lumbini. (Read more)

16:16 (IST)16 May 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the India-Nepal relationship "unshakeable".

India and Nepal relations are unshakeable like the Himalayas, said PM Modi.

15:50 (IST)16 May 2022
Devotion to Buddha binds India, Nepal together, says Modi at Lumbini

Continuing his speech at the event in Lumbini, PM Modi said: "The growing and strengthening friendship between India and Nepal will work for the benefit of entire humanity amid the kind of global situation that is emerging today. The devotion to Lord Buddha binds us together, and makes us members of one family."

15:45 (IST)16 May 2022
Happy to see Mahabodhi sapling I had gifted in 2014 growing into a tree, says PM Modi

PM Narendra Modi, in his speech Buddha Jayanti event in Lumbini, said the energy of the place where Lord Buddha was born gave him a different feeling.

The Prime Minister also referred to a Mahabodhi sapling that he had gifted in Nepal in 2014.

15:34 (IST)16 May 2022
Delighted to have the presence of PM Modi, says Nepalese PM

Nepalese PM Sher Bahadur Deuba began his speech at Buddha Jayanti event in Lumbini by welcoming PM Modi

"Extremely happy today to welcome PM Modi to this sacred land of Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha - the apostle of peace. Delighted to have the presence of PM Modi at this special ceremony in this sacred land," he said. 

15:20 (IST)16 May 2022
Watch: PM Modi to deliver his address in Lumbini

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Nepal for an official visit, is set to deliver his address in Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.

The program begins with the national anthems of Nepal and India, Sayaun Thunga Phulka and Jana Gana Mana, respectively, reported Doordarshan. 

15:10 (IST)16 May 2022
6 MoUs signed during PM's visit to Nepal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Nepal saw the signing of six Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements between India and Nepal. They are as follows: 

  1. Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lumbini Buddhist University on the establishment of Dr. Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies
  2. Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and CNAS, Tribhuvan University on the establishment of ICCR Chair of Indian Studies
  3. Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Kathmandu University (KU) on the establishment of the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies
  4. Memorandum of Understanding in collaboration between Kathmandu University (KU), Nepal and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M), India
  5. Letter of Agreement (LoA) between Kathmandu University (KU), Nepal and Indian Institute of Technology (IITM), India [ For Joint degree program at Master’s level]
  6. Agreement between SJVN Ltd and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for Development and implementation of Arun 4 Project
13:51 (IST)16 May 2022
Opportunity to strengthen ties, says MEA as Modi, Deuba hold bilateral talks

Sharing images of PM Modi and Deuba holding bilateral talks in Lumbini, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi called it an “opportunity to strengthen ongoing cooperation and develop new areas in our multifaceted partnership.”

13:39 (IST)16 May 2022
PM Modi, Nepal PM Deuba hold bilateral talks in Lumbini

PM Modi's visit to Nepal is focused on bringing soft power to the centrestage of India-Nepal relations. In a statement ahead of his visit, Modi had said, "I also look forward to meeting Prime Minister Deuba again after our productive discussions during his visit to India last month. We will continue to build on our shared understanding to expand cooperation in multiple areas, including in hydropower, development and connectivity.”

13:04 (IST)16 May 2022
'Feel blessed': PM Modi on visiting Maya Devi temple on Buddha Purnima

Sharing images of his visit to the Maya Devi temple, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "I feel blessed to have prayed at the Maya Devi Temple on Buddha Purnima. May Lord Buddha bless us all and make our planet peaceful and prosperous."

13:00 (IST)16 May 2022
Watch | PM Modi, Deuba chant slogans post shilanyas ceremony

Post the foundation-laying ceremony for the Centre for Buddhist culture & heritage belonging to the International Buddhist Confederation, PM Modi along with Nepal PM Deuba participated in slogan chanting in Lumbini.

12:58 (IST)16 May 2022
In Photos | PM Modi lays foundation of Buddhist centre, unveils model

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday laid the foundation stone of the Buddhist Centre in Lumbini and unveiled a model of the proposed structure.




Photos: Twitter/Arindam Bagchi

12:43 (IST)16 May 2022
What is the Buddhist centre whose foundation PM Modi laid in Lumbini?

The India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone in Nepal is expected to cost INR 1 billion and take three years to complete.

The Centre will be constructed by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), New Delhi, on a plot allocated to IBC by the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), under an agreement between IBC and LDT signed in March 2022, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

Once completed, the Centre will be a world-class facility welcoming pilgrims and tourists from all over the world to enjoy the essence of spiritual aspects of Buddhism. It will be a modern building, NetZero compliant in terms of energy, water and waste handling, and will house prayer halls, meditation centers, library, exhibition hall, cafeteria, offices and other amenities, the MEA added. 

12:26 (IST)16 May 2022
Watch | PM Modi receives a warm welcome in Lumbini

PM Modi autographed a sketch depicting him and Lord Buddha as he arrived in Lumbini, among chants of 'Vande Matram'.

12:11 (IST)16 May 2022
Watch | PM Modi, Nepal's Deuba participate in shilanyas ceremony of Buddhist Centre

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepalese PM Sher Bahadur Deuba Monday laid the foundation stone of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage in Lumbini.

12:07 (IST)16 May 2022
In Photos | Modi, Deuba lay foundation stone of Buddhist Centre in Lumbini

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepalese PM Sher Bahadur Deuba Monday laid the foundation stone of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage at a plot belonging to the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), Delhi, in Lumbini.

The site for India’s Buddhist cultural centre. (Express photo by Yubaraj Ghimire)

The construction of the ‘India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage’ — to be undertaken by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), India, with financial support from the Ministry of Culture — comes decades after most foreign nations, including US, China, Canada, France, Germany and Thailand, among others, built their centres in Lumbini as an instrument of promoting Buddhist philosophy.

Modi’s visit and his laying the foundation stone for the Buddhist Culture Centre — estimated to cost INR 1 billion and take three years to complete — will mark India’s first attempt to develop strong linkages with Nepal’s Buddhist heritage sites.

Sources in Kathmandu said the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will sign two Memoranda of Understanding with authorities in Nepal — one on setting up the Dr B R Ambedkar Chair for Studies on Buddhism at Lumbini University and another on a Chair Professor at Kathmandu University.

India’s Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with Nepal to build a trans-national Buddhist Tourist Circuit to trace the footsteps of Buddha, starting from Lumbini and concluding at Kushinagar. An international airport was recently inaugurated at Kushinagar.

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