President’s Nepal visit: Mukherjee to meet Madhes leaders on day two
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has a packed schedule on the second day of his state visit to Nepal on Thursday, including a visit to the Pashupati Nath temple on the banks of the Bagmati river.india Updated: Nov 03, 2016 12:36 IST
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has a packed schedule on the second day of his state visit to Nepal on Thursday, including a visit to the Pashupati Nath temple on the banks of the Bagmati river.
Mukherjee began his three-day visit, the first by an Indian president in 18 years, with meetings with his Nepalese counterpart Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”.
He will conduct a special puja at Pashupati Nath temple, the revered Hindu shrine. According to the Pashupati Nath Area Development Trust (PADT), Mukherjee will light 100,000 ‘batti’ (wicks) and sprinkle Panchamrita (a scared mixture of five ingredients, including milk, curd, honey, sugar and ghee) during the puja.
Govinda Tondon, member secretary of the PADT, said 108 ‘Bautk’ or Hindu boys will welcome Mukherjee at the temple premises by chanting Swasti mantras and the Thime Baja and Panchai Baja (traditional Nepali and Newari musical instruments) will be played as he enters the shrine.
Thousands of Indian pilgrims visit the temple every year.
In the afternoon, the Kathmandu University will confer an honorary DLitt degree on Mukherjee. He will be the third dignitary to receive such a degree after Karan Singh and Satya Mohan Joshi.
After this, Mukherjee will be feted at a civic reception organised by Kathmandu Metropolitan City on behalf of the people of the capital.
Mukherjee will also address the concluding function of a Nepal-India Dialogue organised by the India Foundation and Nepal Policy Research Organisation. Diplomats and experts from the two countries are taking part in the dialogue to suggest ways to consolidate bilateral ties.
The President will also interact with leaders of political parties, including the agitating Madhes-based leaders. Leaders of the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Center will separately call on Mukherjee, who will have an opportunity to listen to their views on various political issues.
In the evening, Mukherjee will attend a banquet hosted in his honour by Prime Minister Prachanda.