Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba held bilateral talks in Lumbini on Monday, 16 May.
Speaking at the event for Buddh Purnima, the PM 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, makes us members of one family."
Saying that the construction of the Lumbini Museum in Nepal is an example of joint cooperation between the two nations, he added that the two countries have decided to establish Dr Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies in Lumbini Buddhist University.
A total of six Memorandums of Understanding/Agreements (MoUs) were signed and exchanged between the two countries during PM Narendra Modi's visit.
PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage in Lumbini. The Centre is likely to cost Rs 100 crore and take three years to complete.
Thanking Modi for his visit, the Nepalese PM Sher Bahadur Deuba tweeted:
Earlier, PM Modi arrived in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, where he was received by Nepalese PM Deuba.
Modi and Deuba offered prayers at the Mahamayadevi Temple in Lumbini. The Indian PM also signed the visitors' book at the temple.
The leaders, along with Deuba's spouse D Arzu Rana Deuba, paid their respects at the Marker Stone on the Maya Devi temple premises, which pinpoints the exact birth spot of Lord Buddha. They attended the pooja conducted as per Buddhist rituals, the Ministry of External Affairs informed.
Modi and Deuba also lit lamps near the Ashoka Pillar located adjacent to the temple.
The pillar, which was erected by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC, bears the first epigraphic evidence of Lumbini being the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the MEA added.
Modi Reaches Nepal
PM Modi, after landing in Nepal, had tweeted, "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." He also thanked PM Deuba for a warm welcome in Lumbini.
The bilateral talks between the two leaders pertained to multiple issues, including hydropower, development, and connectivity.