PM visits iconic Muktinath temple, first world leader to offer prayers there

File A street vendor in Kathmandu

"Janakpur and Ayodhya are being connected".

Modi first flew to Janakpur in southern Nepal, where he prayed at a revered Hindu temple and addressed a public rally, before heading to the capital, Kathmandu, for official meetings. "I feel really blessed to be here in the place of king Janak", he said.

Local media reported that at least 30 people were arrested from various parts of Kathmandu on Friday for shouting slogans against Modi.

At a joint press meet, Modi expressed the hope that Arun III will help create jobs and investment opportunities in Nepal.

He announced that Janakpr will be connected with Ayodhya, the kingdom of Rama, Sita's husband.

Besides focusing on rail connectivity, the Indian Prime Minister will inaugurate the Arun-III hydro-electric project, which is expected to generate 900 megawatts of electricity.

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PM Modi visited the highly venerated Muktinath temple, located at 12,172 ft, to reinforce the strong cultural connect between India and Nepal. "We have been there for each other in the most hard of times", Modi said at a civic reception by the Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City at Barhabigha ground here. "Without Nepal, India's faith, belief and history are incomplete". They say Nepal could benefit much more from the economic multiplier if the power met its own future needs. While flagging off the bus service, Prime Minister Modi had said: " Tourism is developing at a fast pace across the world.

"Jayanagar-Janakpur railway, Raxaul-Amlekhgunj pipeline, Raxaul-Kathmandu railways extension plan are the gestures that are testimony to our wish to increase connectivity with Nepal", he said, adding his government was ready to increase cooperation in the agriculture sector and provide technological support to Nepal.

Modi is on a two-day visit to Nepal, which came about after he received an invitation from his Nepalese counterpart. "It is this bondage which attracts people from Rameswaram to Pashupatinath, people from Lumbini to Bodhgaya and I was also attracted with the same bondage", he said.

This is Modi's third visit to Nepal since 2014, and follows Oli's visit to India in April. Janakpur sub-metropolis Mayor Lal Kishor Sah was also present during the felicitation.

He also announced assistance of 1 billion Indian rupees (14.85 million USA dollars) for the development of Janakpur.

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