Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a visit to Lumbini, Nepal, on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. At Lumbini, the Prime Minister will offer prayers at the sacred Mayadevi temple and, separately, participate in the Shilanayas (foundation laying) ceremony of a Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage to be built with Indian assistance.
PM Modi’s visit to Lumbini at the invitation of Prime Minister Deuba underscores the shared civilisational and cultural heritage of the people of both the countries and will further deepen the bilateral relations. Durgeshman Singh, former Nepali Ambassador to India, said, “Culture brings people closer and the visit will add value to public life and society.”
Modi is said to be using soft power diplomacy by visiting Nepal at a time when the geopolitical dynamics are rapidly changing and even Nepal has witnessed a division of opinion on issues like MCC and BRI. Nevertheless, the visit offers an immense opportunity for Nepal.
Tourism is the mainstay of the Nepalese economy and religious tourism is one of the main contributors to the Nepalese tourism industry. Not only has it generated thousands of jobs, but has also promoted Nepalese culture, lifestyle and traditions. Nepal has a lot to offer to tourists, from the high Himalayas to the jungles of the Terai plains teeming with wildlife, and, from the scenic grandeur of its rolling hills to the rich cultural heritage of its inhabitants.