Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has announced the development of a Buddhist circuit to enhance cooperation in the field of culture and tourism by further strengthening the historical ties between Nepal and India.
Speaking at a function held to mark the 2566th Buddha Jayanti on Monday, May 15 with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Chief Guest, Prime Minister Deuba said that Nepal and India were committed to developing a Buddhist circuit connecting important places related to the life of Lord Gautam Buddha.
He said that such a circuit to connect Lumbini of Nepal with Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar of India would make a positive contribution to the promotion of cultural tourism between Nepal and India. "Buddhists from all over the world will be motivated to visit important places connected with the life of Lord Gautam Buddha in Nepal and India," he said adding that Nepal was eager to welcome a large number of tourists and pilgrims from India and all over the world to Lumbini, after the inauguration of the recently completed Gautam Buddha International Airport.
The goal he stated was to develop Lumbini as an important heritage of the world and as a center of motivation for world peace. "It is our commitment to developing Lumbini as a world center of Buddhism and philosophy. We appreciate the cooperation and solidarity of all to achieve this sacred goal," the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Deuba said that the teachings of Lord Buddha are more relevant and meaningful because human beings are facing violence, hostility, and war in different parts of the world today, and the journey towards world peace is becoming more difficult and challenging day by day due to terrorism, arms race, and conflict.
Appreciating the generous and cordial assistance extended by the Government of India in extremely difficult times as well as in good times, Prime Minister Deuba thanked India for its continued support of Nepal's economic development endeavors.
The event was attended by a large number of Buddhists and the general public, including Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba, members of the Council of Ministers, the Chief Minister of Lumbini Province, the Vice President, and officials of the Lumbini Development Trust.
Addressing the same ceremony, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that India and Nepal's relations were as firm as the mountains and observed that both countries had ample opportunities to work hand-in-hand for the development of science, technology, and infrastructure. Stating that common traditions, cultures, and social structures between the two countries have brought people from India and Nepal together, Indian PM Modi reaffirmed to further strengthen relations with Nepal.
Modi opined that India and Nepal were connected by the noble thread of Buddhism and both countries were diversifying and deepening cooperation in many spheres including the development and promotion of the Buddhist Circuit.
Under the Buddhist Circuit project, UNESCO enlisted Buddhist sites in India such as Gaya, Nalanda, Baishali, Purbi Champaran, Bhahalpur and Nepal's historical Buddhist sites such as Bouddhanath, Swyambhunath, Kapan Monastery, Pokhara and Lumbini will be linked with each other.
PM Modi, during his remarks, expressed his eagerness to develop the Buddhist Circuit envisaged expanding international relations among Buddhists and contributing to world peace. Describing the incomparable friendship between India and Nepal in the world, the Indian Premier admitted that he had a different spiritual experience when he visited Nepal and shrines such as Pashupatinath, Muktinath, Janakpur, and Lumbini.
Praising Nepal, the holy birthplace of Lord Buddha, the land of Everest, and a country with temples and several shrines, he said the country continues to remain a sacred place. On the occasion, he announced the construction of the Integrated Check Post at Bhairahawa to support Nepal's economic and trade development and to implement the Buddhist Circuit is a joint project of both countries. Source: www.nepalnews.com