‘Ramayan Circuit’ gets a new bus service

Narendra Modi flags off service between Janakpur and Ayodhya after offering prayers at the Janaki temple

Published - May 12, 2018 01:29 am IST - Janakpur

Temple diplomacy:  Narendra Modi with his Nepal counterpart, K.P. Oli, at the Janaki Mandir in Janakpur on Friday.

Temple diplomacy: Narendra Modi with his Nepal counterpart, K.P. Oli, at the Janaki Mandir in Janakpur on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli on Friday jointly inaugurated a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya, the two sacred cities for Hindus, as part of a “Ramayan Circuit” to promote religious tourism in Nepal and India.

“Janakpur and Ayodhya are being connected. This is a historic moment,” Prime Minister Modi said, inaugurating the bus service, connecting Lord Rama’s birthplace Ayodhya with goddess Sita’s birthplace Janakpur.

Mr. Modi flagged off the bus after visiting the famed 20th century Janaki temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Sita, where he offered special prayers.

15 destinations

The government has identified 15 destinations in India for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme — Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Nashik and Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu).

Earlier, Mr. Oli welcomed his Indian counterpart upon his arrival at the temple complex.

“I am glad to be here in Janakpur. I am here to pay respects to King Janak and Mata Janaki. I thank the PM of Nepal Shri Oli for accompanying me during this visit to Janakpur,” Mr. Modi said.

Thousands of people have gathered on the Janaki temple premises to welcome Mr. Modi. The temple has got a new look as it was cleaned up and decorated with lights.

Warm welcome

“Today’s welcome in Nepal shows the affection the people of Nepal have towards the people of India,” Mr. Modi told the gathering.

Janakpur is known as the birth place of Sita, the wife of Lord Rama. Janaki temple was built in memory of Sita in 1910. The three-storey structure made entirely of stone and marble is 50-metre high and spread over 4,860 sq feet.

Earlier, Defence Minister Ishwar Pokhrel and Province 2 Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut received Mr. Modi at the airport. This is the third visit of Mr. Modi to Nepal and the first high-level visit from India since the formation of the new Government in Nepal this year.

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