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Rediff.com  » News » Modi in Vietnam: From feeding fish to praying at Pagoda

Modi in Vietnam: From feeding fish to praying at Pagoda

September 03, 2016 13:34 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited the historic Pagoda temple in Hanoi and the stilt house where revered Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh lived, apart from enjoying fishing with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

IMAGE: PM Modi and his Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc feed fish in Uncle Ho's pond in the Presidential compound in Hanoi. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

Addressing Buddhist monks at the temple, Modi said Vietnam was an inspiration for everyone to shun violence and follow Buddha's path of peace and harmony.

"World should walk on the path of peace that brings happiness and prosperity, while war only brings transient greatness," the prime minister said.

"The advent of Buddhism from India to Vietnam and the monuments of Vietnam's Hindu Cham temples stand testimony to these bonds," Modi said.

He said the India-Vietnam ties were 2,000 years old.

IMAGE: PM Modi offering prayers at the Quan Su Pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

Modi emphasised that his visit to Vietnam -- the first by an Indian premier in 15 years -- was to "nurture a relationship between our two societies and nations."

"These cultural bonds reflect themselves in many ways. Most prominently, in the connect between Buddhism and the monuments of the Hindu Cham civilization," he said.

"Some people came here with the objective of war. We came here with a message of peace which has endured," Modi said.

Modi said Buddhism, which took the sea route, travelled to Vietnam in its purest form from India.

IMAGE: Our relationship spans 2000 years. Some people came here with the objective of war. We came here with a message of peace which has endured, the prime minister said. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

He invited all the monks to visit India -- the land of Buddha -- and especially to Varanasi "which I represent in the Indian Parliament."

He said he is fortunate to visit the Pagoda temple after first President Rajendra Prasad in 1959.

The Quan Su Pagoda, also known as Ambassador's pagoda, is said to have served emissaries that were sent from Champa and Laos to Vietnam in the past.

IMAGE: I am humbled by blessings showered on me, PM Modi said offering prayers at the Quan Su Pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

The pagodas -- a Buddhist heritage and popular tourist sites -- are at the heart of Vietnamese Buddhism and are a precious treasure of Hanoi.

The pagoda is said to have served emissaries that were sent from Champa and Laos to Vietnam in the past.

Earlier today, Modi visited Ho Chi Minh's stilt house at the majestic presidential palace. He was accompanied by Premier Phuc and thanked him for his generous welcome.

IMAGE: PM Modi visits Nha San Bac Ho, late Vietnamese president Ho Chi Minh's stilt house. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

"Earlier this morning, you made the special gesture of personally showing me Ho Chi Minh's house... Thank you, Excellency, for extending me the privilege. Let me also congratulate the people of Vietnam on their national day that you celebrated yesterday," he said.

The stilt house was the residence of Ho Chi Minh from 1958 until his death in 1969 and is located inside the majestic Presidential Palace in Hanoi.

Jaishree Balasubramanian
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