Republica Daily, 12 May 2018
The concept of Ramayan Circuit was floated by the Indian Tourism Ministry with a plan to connect at least fifteen holy sites associated with Lord Ram and Goddess Sita.
JANAKPUR, May 11: Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister KP Oli on Friday jointly flagged off a passenger bus service between Janakpur and Indian city of Ayodhya, which lies in Uttar Pradesh state. The distance between the two cities is 493 kilometers.
The two prime ministers launched the bus service by waving green flags amidst a special function held on the premises of the Janaki Temple. The birthplaces of Goddess Sita and Lord Ram are now connected with the launch of the cross-country bus service.
Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of India's Uttar Pradesh, is scheduled to welcome the bus arriving from Janakpur amidst a function in Ayodhya on Saturday. The bus service was launched as a part of connecting Janakpur with the Ramayan [pilgrimage] Circuit launched by the Indian government.
Goddess Sita, who was raised by King Janak in Janakpur, was married off to Lord Ram, the son of King Dasharath of Ayodhya kingdom. Sita and Ram are the main characters of Ramayan, one of the most revered Hindu epic.
The concept of Ramayan Circuit was floated by the Indian Tourism Ministry with a plan to connect at least fifteen holy sites associated with Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. The circuit includes Ayodhya, Shringverpur and Chitrakut in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh; Sitamadhi, Baxar and Darbhanga in Bihar state; Nandigram in West Bengal; Jagdalpur in Chhatisgarh; Bhadrachalam in Telangana; Rameshwaram in Tamilnadu; Humpi in Karnatak; and Nasik and Nagpur of Maharastra state of India.
The launch of Janakpur-Ayodhya Bus Service formally makes Janakpur a part of the Ramayan Circult. As per the plan, Nepal and India will organize fairs in Janakpur and Ayodhya every year to promote religious ties between the two cities.
Addressing a brief function organized after offering special prayer to Goddess Janaki [Sita], Indian Prime Minister Modi said he was happy to step in Janakpur as the first sitting Indian prime minister to do so. Recalling that the people in Uttar Pradesh in general and Banaras in particular had made him the prime minister of India, Modi said the relations between Nepal and India are deep-rooted.
Modi expressed confidence that the places connected by the Ramayan Circuit will see economic development and also contribute to further strengthening the people-to-people relations between the two countries.
Prime Minister Oli said Nepal and India want to develop Ramayan Circuit by connecting all places associated with "Lord Ram and Mother Sita". He also underscored the need for including other places associated with Ram and Sita including the place where Sage Balmiki lived and Sita ended her life in Nepal.