New Delhi, May 16 Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of India and Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepal on Monday visited the Mayadevi temple at Lumbini in Nepal as the first stop of the Indian leader’s one-day visit to the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Deuba’s spouse Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba also accompanied them.
The tow leaders paid their respects at the Marker Stone inside the temple premises and took part in prayers conducted as per Buddhist rituals.
The two leaders lit lamps near the Ashoka Pillar located adjacent to the temple.
The pillar, erected by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC, bears the first epigraphic evidence of Lumbini being the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Thereafter, the two Prime Ministers watered the Bodhi tree sapling from Bodh Gaya which was gifted by Modi to Lumbini in 2014.
The two leaders also took part in the Shilanyas programme for the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone.
The Centre will deepen the cultural and people-to-people linkages between India and Nepal, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Earlier, Modi arrived in Lumbini in the morning on an official visit, coinciding with the occasion of Buddha Jayanti.
He was received by Prime Minister Deuba and several Ministers.
As Prime Minister, this is Modi’s fifth visit to Nepal and the first to Lumbini.