Anuradhapura :Prime Minister Modi on Saturday visited the ancient Buddhist pilgrimage town of Anuradhapura in the North Central province of Sri Lanka and became the first Indian PM to do so.
Jawaharlal Nehru had visited earlier, but that was in 1931 long before he became the Prime Minister.
Modi’s visit had been at his request as he is interested in Buddhism and its relevance for the modern world searching for peace and contentment in combination with individual freedom.
It was pouring when Modi, appropriately clad in a white kurta-pyjama, walked into the stupa accompanied by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. Sirisena had discarded protocol to receive the Indian PM at the temple.
Modi refused to protect himself from a drizzle at the IPKF memorial in Colombo on Friday.
Later, he accepted the offer of an umbrella in Anuradhapura as the downpour became very heavy.
After worshipping at the Mahabodhi tree, brought to Sri Lanka by Emperor Ashoka’s daughter Sangamitta, Modi worshipped at the stupa.
The head priest of the temple tied a holy thread around his wrist as a blessing. Known as the “pirith nool” the thread is a protection against adversities.
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