Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a three day visit to China and his first stop was a city located in the northwest of the country called Xian. Xian is the capital of Shaanxi, home province of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Modi was born in Vadnagar, a small town in Gujarat which has a connection to Xian that dates back to seventh century.
Huien Tsang (Xuanzang), a seventh century Chinese traveller, came to India to collect Buddhist scriptures and learn more about Buddha. When he returned back to his country with Buddhist as well as Sanskrit literature, he established a translation centre in an ancient city.
One of the cities Tsang visited on his trip to India was Vadnagar. The city was a centre of Buddhist knowledge starting from third or fourth century. He visited Vadnagar in the 641 A.D. and recorded the presence of Buddhist establishments.
On his return to China, Tsnag established a sizeable translation centre in Xian city. Great Wild Goose Pagoda was constructed for the storage of the translations of Buddhist sutras obtained from India.
Xuan took his last breath in the city and the Xingjiao Temple was built to preserve his relics in AD 669.
As Jinping started his India tour from Gujarat, home state of Modi, Indian PM doing the same was not surprising. This was a well thought decision on Indian think-tank's part as Shaanxi province is considered as the power centre in China.