During his trip to Nepal, PM Narendra Modi took a step further in establishing a good cultural relationship with Nepal by inaugurating a cross-border bus service, creating a connection between Nepal’s Janakpur, and India’s Ayodhya. This link is supposed to be a part of the Ramayana Circuit which has been recently introduced by the Modi Government.
Under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, all historical religious places where Lord Rama is said to have traveled, are linked together by various forms of transport, known as the Ramayana Circuit. All of this is intended to boost the tourism industry around the Indian subcontinent. During his 2-day stay in Nepal, Narendra Modi became the first Indian PM to perform the Shodashopachara prayers at the Ram Janaki temple. After inaugurating the bus line, Modi said that this addition to the Ramayana Circuit will boost tourism and “act as a foundation for strong people-to-people ties” between India and Nepal.
During a civic reception at the Rangabhumi Maidan, PM Modi announced that Ayodhya and Janaki Dham were incomplete without each other, so in a similar way, Nepal and India were incomplete without each other. Modi highlighted the fact that the relationship between the two countries were never based on their language or government strategies. ‘Devniti’, or the religious ties which bind the two countries together rise way beyond any politics.
PM Modi spoke in Nepali to address the people of Nepal alongside his counterpart, PM Sharma Oli. Following the addition of Janakpur, Modi also confirmed the inclusion of Lumbini into the counterpart Buddhism Circuit under the same scheme.