Rajapaksa visits Kashi Vishwanath temple, Sarnath; feels overwhelmed by hospitality
Rajapaksa visited the Upadesh Sthali (the spot of sermon) and ‘Dhamek Stupa’ besides offering prayers at the Buddha Temple in Moolgandh Kuti Vihar. The Sri Lankan PM also visited the Sarnath Museum..Updated: Feb 11, 2020 01:15 IST
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple and also visited Sarnath during his visit. Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agarwal and Varanasi DM Kaushal Raj Sharma received Rajpaksa at the temple, a senior temple official said.
The visiting dignitary was given a memento, rosary and ‘Meri Kashi Ek Puratana Nagari’ album, the official added. The divisional commissioner apprised him of the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project. In the afternoon, the Sri Lankan PM visited Sarnath where Lord Buddha had given his first sermon.
Rajapaksa visited the Upadesh Sthali (the spot of sermon) and ‘Dhamek Stupa’ besides offering prayers at the Buddha Temple in Moolgandh Kuti Vihar. The Sri Lankan PM also visited the Sarnath Museum.
“I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to visit the museum as it represents an important site (Sarnath) for Buddhist followers. Thank you for the hospitality,” Rajapaksa wrote in the comment book at the museum.
Earlier in the day, he was accorded a warm welcome at the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport on his arrival.
A senior official of the district administration said additional director general, Varanasi zone, Braj Bhushan and other top officials received the Sri Lankan Prime Minister. ADG Bhushan said tight security arrangements were made in view of Rajapaksa’s visit.
Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe along with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi had visited Varanasi in December 2015. French President Emanuel Macron, accompanied by PM Modi, had visited Varanasi in March 2018. German President Frank Walter Steinmeier had visited Varanasi in March 2018.