Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay an official visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, in Nepal on May 16 on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, the Ministry of external affairs said on Thursday.
Modi is visiting the neighbouring country at the invitation of Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and according to the Nepalese Foreign Ministry, while in Lumbini, the two prime ministers will hold bilateral talks and exchange views on Nepal-India cooperation and matters of mutual interests.
Announcing the visit, the MEA said Modi's visit continues the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between India and Nepal in furtherance of our Neighbourhood First policy and underscores the shared civilisational heritage of the people of both countries.
It will be the prime minister's fifth visit to Nepal since 2014.
The MEA said at Lumbini, the prime minister will visit the sacred Mayadevi temple to offer prayers.
It said Modi will also deliver an address at a Buddha Jayanti event organised by the Lumbini Development Trust under the aegis of the government of Nepal.
The Nepalese foreign ministry said Modi will attend the special ceremony being organised on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti.
Lumbini, located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal, is considered one of the holiest places of Buddhism, as Lord Buddha was born there.
The MEA said Modi will also participate in the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a centre for Buddhist culture and heritage in Lumbini.
Separately, the prime minister will participate in the "Shilanyas” ceremony for the construction of a centre for Buddhist culture and heritage, in a plot belonging to the International Buddhist Confederation, New Delhi within the Lumbini Monastic Zone, it said in a statement.
The two prime ministers will also hold a bilateral meeting, the MEA said.
The Nepalese Foreign Ministry said Deuba will host a lunch in honour of Modi and the visiting delegation.
"While in Lumbini, the two Prime Ministers will hold bilateral talks and exchange views on Nepal-India cooperation and matters of mutual interests," it said.
Meanwhile, the Nepal's ministry of foreign affairs said in Kathmandu that Modi's Nepal visit will contribute to further strengthening the bilateral relations and the age-old socio-cultural bonds between the two countries.
"The upcoming visit of the Prime Minister Modi will contribute to further strengthening the bilateral relations and the age-old socio-cultural bonds between the two countries," the statement said.
Prime Minister Deuba will host a luncheon in honour of his Indian counterpart and members of the visiting delegation.
During the visit, which was aimed at injecting fresh momentum into bilateral ties, Deuba held talks with Modi on a number of key issues, including the boundary issue. Nepal shares a border of over 1,850 km with five Indian states -- Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The Himalayan nation relies heavily on India for the transportation of goods and services.