Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Buddhist shrine in Sarnath today
Posted on February 9th, 2020

Courtesy DNA India

File photo: Sri Lankan premier with PM Narendra Modi | Picture courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is on a three-day visit to India, will pay a visit to the Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi, followed by the Buddhist shrine in Sarnath on Sunday (February 9).

Security has been beefed up in the city ahead of his visit. 

After landing in the holy city, Rajapaksa will first offer his prayers at the temples.

“Rajapaksa will reach Sarnath, pay his obeisance at the Dhamekh Stupa, the sermon site of Tathagata. After that, he will worship Lord Buddha at the Buddhist temple at Moolgandh Kuti Vihar and take blessings from the Buddhist monks. He will also visit the Sarnath Archaeological Museum,” said K. Medhankar Thero, joint secretary of Mahabodhi Society of India.

Ahead of his visit, Kashi Vishwanath Temple has stopped the entry of common devotees from the Chhatdwar after 10 AM.

Posters showcasing strong relations between India and Sri Lanka, and welcome messages, have been put up in the convoy route of Rajapaksa.  

On Monday, Rajapaksa will visit Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya Centre and later in the day, he would emplane for Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. He would offer his prayers at the ancient hill temple of Lord Venkateswara nearby Tirumala on Tuesday. 

The Sri Lankan PM is on a state visit to India from 8 – 11 Feb 2020 on the invitation of PM Modi. Rajapaksa is on his first overseas tour and chose India as his first destination after he was appointed the Prime Minister of his country in November last year.

On Saturday, he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held bilateral talks on issues ranging from trade to security.

He also met with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, President Ram Nath Kovind on wide-ranging issues.

Mahinda has served as the President of the island country from 2005-2015. He is credited with a military victory that ended a 26-year long separatist civil war with ethnic Tamil rebels during his presidency.

This is the first time in the history of the country that two brothers-Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa-are in the positions of President and Prime Minister. 

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