Kathmandu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may travel to Nepal via land route to attend the SAARC summit next month and is likely to visit three major religious sites—Janakpur, Lumbini and Muktinath—during his four-day visit.
Nepal's Parliamentary Development Committee has asked the government to immediately renovate Bhittamod-Janakpur section of the East West Highway in view of the possibility of Prime Minister Modi's Nepal visit through land route.
During his Nepal visit, the second in less than three months, Prime Minister Modi will attend the 18th SAARC Summit and is likely to visit Ram-Janaki Temple at Janakpurdham, Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, and Muktinath, a holy shrine situated in the mountainous northwestern region of Nepal.
Modi will arrive in Nepal on November 25 to attend the Summit slated for November 26-27. Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ministry Secretary Tulasi Prasad Sitaula has informed the Parliamentary Committee that the ministry has got information that Modi may visit Nepal by land route, though the itinerary has not yet been finalised.
There are both possibilities of either Modi visiting Janakpur directly from India through land route or to visit Janakpur after arriving in Kathmandu by air, he said. Authorities have been intensifying their preparations to welcome Modi in Janakpur in a grand manner, officials said. Janakpur is the birthplace of Lord Sita, where the famous Ram-Janaki temple is situated.
Modi is likely to arrive at Janakpur from Patna via Bhittamod, state-run Nepali language daily Gorkhapatra said. Modi is likely to pay a visit to Lumbini and Muktinath while returning.
Security has been beefed up in all the three holy sites ahead of Modi's visit to Nepal. During his previous visit to Nepal in August, Prime Minister Modi had expressed his desire to visit Janakpur and Lumbini. Modi's visit to Lumbini and Janakpur is almost confirmed, though the detailed itinerary of the visit has not been finalised, sources in the Indian Embassy said.
It is also not certain whether Modi will visit Nepal by land or by air, the sources said. His visit to Muktinath is likely but it has not yet been confirmed, they said.