New Delhi :Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Lumbini, Nepal on May 16, 2022, coinciding with the auspicious occasion of Vaishakha Buddha Purnima, at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Nepal Shri Sher Bahadur Deuba. As Prime Minister, this was Shri Narendra Modi’s fifth visit to Nepal and first to Lumbini.
The Prime Minister was warmly welcomed on arrival by Nepalese Prime Minister Shri Deuba, his spouse Dr.Arzu Rana Deuba, Minister for Home Affairs Mr. Bal Krishna Khand, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Narayan Khadka, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Ms. Renu Kumari Yadav, Minister for Energy, Water Resources & Irrigation Ms. Pampha Bhusal, Minister for Culture, Civil Aviation and Tourism Mr. Prem Bahadur Ale, Minister for Education Mr. Devendra Paudel, Minister for Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Govinda Prasad Sharma, and Chief Minister of Lumbini Province Mr. Kul Prasad KC.
Both the Prime Ministers visited the Mayadevi temple, within which lies the birth place of Lord Buddha. At the temple, the Prime Ministers attended prayers conducted as per Buddhist rituals and made offerings. The Prime Ministers lit lamps and visited the historical Ashoka Pillar, that carries the first epigraphic evidence of Lumbini being the birthplace of Lord Buddha. They also watered the holy Bodhi tree that was brought as a gift by Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Nepal in 2014.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi together with Prime Minister Shri Sher Bahadur Deuba participated in the “Shilanyas” ceremony for the construction of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage at a plot in Lumbini belonging to the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC).. The plot was allocated to the IBC by the Lumbini Development Trust in November 2021. After the “Shilanyas” ceremony, the Prime Ministers also unveiled a model of the Buddhist centre, which is envisaged as a Net-Zero compliant world-class facility that would house prayer halls, meditation centre, library, exhibition hall, cafeteria and other amenities and would be open to Buddhist pilgrims and tourists from around the world. The built up area is 6300 Sq metre and it will be the first building in Nepal with Net Zero Emission which it aims to achieve with Radiant Cooling technology & water bodies. The cost of the project is around Rs 9846.46 Lakhs.
Both Prime Ministers participated in a special event to mark the 2566th Buddha Jayanti celebrations that was organized by Lumbini Development Trust under the aegis of the Government of Nepal. At the event, PM shri Narendra Modi addressed a large gathering of monks, officials, dignitaries and those associated with the Buddhist world.