Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that India and Nepal's ever-strengthening friendship will benefit the entire humanity in the emerging global situation.
Speaking in Nepal's Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, Modi also said that India and Nepal relations are unshakeable like the Himalayas.
Modi is on a day-long visit to Nepal at the invitation of Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. He attended the 2566th Buddha Jayanti Celebration at International Convention Center and Meditation Hall at Lumbini.
Addressing the International Buddhist Conference, Modi said, "Buddha is the embodiment of the collective understanding of humanity."
The gathering included monks, Buddhist scholars and international participants.
Addressing a programme in Lumbini on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima. https://t.co/Frs6jrcHIC— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 16, 2022
Modi also invoked Ramayan to highlight the religious and cultural ties between the two countries.
He said, "I said in Janankpur that our Ram is incomplete without Sita. I know that people of Nepal area also happy now that a grand Ram Mandir is being built in India."
Janakpur is the birthplace of Sita, who married Ram, as per Ramayana. Modi had visited Janakpur in 2018.
Modi also highlighted the India-Nepal collaboration in the cultural domain. He said, "The building of Lumbini Museum in Nepal is an example of mutual cooperation of the two countries. And today we decided to establish Dr Ambedker Chair for Buddhist Studies at Lumbini Buddhist University."
Earlier on Moday, Modi and Deuba laid the foundation stone of India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini.
Modi also visited the Maya Devi Temple, the birthplace of Buddha, where he was accompanied by Deuba.
The two leaders also held a round of talks, in which they are likely to have focussed on further expanding cooperation in multiple areas, including hydropower and connectivity.
This is Modi's fifth visit to Nepal since assuming office in 2014. This is also the second round of meeting and talks between Modi and Deuba in last two months, as Deuba was on a three-day visit to India last month where he met Modi among other leaders and visited temples in Varanasi.
(With PTI inputs)