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Modi in Nepal: Visit to temple, bus route to Ayodhya

May 11, 2018 13:48 IST

After weeks of hectic campaigning in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Nepal on Friday morning for a two-day visit.

PM Modi landed in the temple town of Janakpur, 225 km from capital Kathmandu. PM Modi inaugurated a bus from Janakpur to Ayodhya to promote religious tourism in Nepal and India.

Here are glimpses from his Nepal visit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Janakpur, Nepal on Friday -- his third visit to the country since he's come to power. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Modi being greeted by Nepal's dignitaries at the airport. Ahead of his visit, Modi said India would remain a steadfast partner of the Himalayan nation in its quest for growth and development. Describing his trip to Nepal as a reflection of his government's commitment to "neighbourhood first" policy, Modi had said the Himalayan nation has entered a new era and India would continue to support it. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Thousands of people gathered at the Janaki temple premises to welcome Modi. Janaki temple has got a new look as the temple was cleaned up and decorated with lights. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

PM Modi was welcomed to the temple by Nepal's Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli. The Janaki temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Sita. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Modi, along with Oli, took part in the Shodasopachara Pooja at the Janaki temple. Visiting Indian Presidents Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Gyani Zail Singh and Pranab Mukherjee had performed such prayers during their visits to Nepal, temple’s priest Ramatpeshwar Das Vaishnav said. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Modi is the first Indian PM to hold such a worship ceremony at the temple. The Shodashopachara worship ceremony -- with 16 ritualistic services including tantric mantra recitation -- is carried out only by special guests at the Janaki temple. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

During the ritual, the idol of Hindu Goddess Sita is worshipped and decorated with clothes and jewels. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Modi signs the visitors book at the temple. Modi wrote in the book, "Visit to Janaki temple is a memorable experience for me". Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Following his temple visit, Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya - the two sacred cities for Hindus. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

“Janakpur and Ayodhya are being connected. This is a historic moment,” Prime Minister Modi said while inaugurating the bus service as part of the Ramayan Circuit to promote religious tourism in Nepal and India. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter