Felt blessed on offering prayers at Pashupatinath temple: Modi

On the last day of his two-day visit to Nepal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reached the world famous Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu amid unprecedented security.

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava Kathmandu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday prayed at Pashupatinath temple here, granted Rs 25 crore to build a `dharamshala` in the temple complex and offered 2,500 kg of sandalwood to the trust that manages this world famous temple. Wearing a saffron coloured kurta-pyjama with a shawl draped on his shoulder and forearm, Modi paid obeisance at Pashupatinath temple before leaving to meet President Ram Baran Yadav. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he felt "extremely blessed" on offering prayers at the Pashupatinath temple. "Felt extremely blessed on offering prayers at the Pashupatinath temple this morning," Modi later tweeted.

Modi is on a two-day visit to Nepal, a first by an Indian Prime Minister in 17 years. Regarded as the most sacred temple of Hindu Lord Shiva in the world, Pashupatinath temple`s existence dates back to 400 AD. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come here, the temple`s web site said. Brahmins welcomed Modi by chanting the Veda at the main gate of the temple. The Pashupatinath temple management committee gifted Modi a picture of Pashupatinath. Modi announced Rs.25 crore for the temple and the money will be spent to build a 400-bed Dharmashala in Pashupatinath area, according to member secretary of Pashupatinath Area Development Committee Govind Tondon. Modi also gifted 2,500 kg of sandalwood.

Chief priest Ganesh Bhatta who performed the puja, offered a rare chandan paste prepared from four lingas of Pashupatinath. This is rare and only gifted to very important dignitaries, said Tondo. PM Modi had on Sunday won a winning millions hearts by speaking in Nepali briefly during his 50-minute address to Parliament. Making the first bilateral visit by an Indian PM in 17 years, Modi had on Sunday pledged not to interfere in Nepal`s internal affairs, announced a USD 1 billion line of credit and said New Delhi was determined to forge a new relationship with the Himalayan nation. After wide-ranging talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala soon after arriving here, Modi addressed Nepal`s Parliament, becoming the first foreign leader to do so after the restoration of democracy in this South Asian nation in 1990. In Pics: PM Narendra Modi in Nepal The Prime Minister covered a range of subjects in his Parliament speech, from religion to politics, from diplomacy to herbal medicines, and from information technology to infrastructure. Modi gave a `HIT` formula for Nepal, saying India wants to help Nepal build highways (H), information highways (I) and transways - transmission lines (T). He said his government is keen to double power supply to Nepal and pipelines would be built to help transport oil to the Himalayan nation. He said India would help Nepal emerge as a major exporter of herbal medicines and develop its tourism potential. Modi said it is more expensive to make a telephone call between India and Nepal than it is to make a call between India and US and he was keen to change that. In his speech, he appreciated the warm reception he was accorded after landing in Kathmandu earlier in the day on a two-day official visit. In his speech, Modi made frequent references to the Hindu religion to underscore the ancient ties between the two countries. "I come from Somnath`s land... I started my parliamentary journey from Kashi. Today I am standing at the feet of Pashupatinath," he said referring to his home state Gujarat, his parliamentary seat Varanasi and the famed Shiva temple in Nepal. "There is a temple in Kashi where the priest is from Nepal, and the priest of Pashupatinath is from India." He also hailed Nepal`s Constitution drafting process during his speech in Hindi which was applauded by the parliamentarians of Nepal more than 20 times. He touched a chord by paying homage to the Gorkha soldiers who became martyrs in India`s wars against China and Pakistan. Also, three agreements were signed between India and Nepal including cooperation between Doordarshan and Nepal TV. (With IANS inputs)

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