In furtherance of India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Nepal's Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti.
He was received by Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on his arrival at Lumbini.
"Landed in Nepal. Happy to be among the wonderful people of Nepal on the special occasion of Buddha Purnima. Looking forward to the programmes in Lumbini," PM Modi tweeted.
PM Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on May 16 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.
In his departure statement, PM Modi said he looks forward to meeting Prime Minister Deuba again to continue to expand India-Nepal cooperation in multiple areas, including in hydropower, development and connectivity.
"Our ties with Nepal are unparalleled. The civilisational and people-to-people contacts between India and Nepal form the enduring edifice of our close relationship," he added.