PM Modi in Nepal: Prays at Muktinath temple, first world leader to offer prayers there

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting his counterpart Khadga Prasad Oli.

NEW DELHI Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his second day visit to Nepal on Saturday offered prayers at Muktinath and Pashupatinath temples, followed by meetings with political leaders of various parties.

He flew down in an IAF chopper to the hill-top temple situated in Mustang district, where he was greeted by Nepal’s top-level officials.

Dressed in Buddhist traditional red dress, Modi performed the ritual of beating the traditional drums along with the temple priests at Muktinath temple. He greeted the local pujaris as he rung the traditional bells placed outside the temple. Some local temple artistes played cultural music to welcome the Prime Minister Modi. He carried out rituals both according to the Hindu and Buddhist tradition. The entire temple premise was decorated with fresh flowers to welcome him.

He is the first world leader to offer prayers at the temple.

Muktinath Temple is regarded as sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists located in Muktinath Valley. The temple at an altitude of 3,710 metres at the foot of the Thorong La Pass in mountainous Mustang district.

On Friday, Modi had offered prayers and played a musical instrument at the 20th century Janaki temple in Janakpur in Nepal. He also performed a special puja at the shrine in the temple town of Janakpur, some 225 km from capital Kathmandu. Modi also inaugurated a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya and, with Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli, laid the foundation stone of the 900-megawatt Arun III Hydroelectric Power Plant in Tumlingtar area in eastern Nepal.

On Saturday, PM Modi would fly down to Kathmandu to visit the Pashupatinath temple. While in Kathmandu, he would hold meetings with the Nepali Congress and some former ministers of Nepal. He would leave for New Delhi in the evening to end his two-day visit to Nepal.