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Varanasi-Kathmandu, Ayodhya-Janakpur to become sister cities

Kathmandu : India and Nepal are set to sign a number of bilateral agreements, including two pacts making Varanasi-Kathmandu and Ayodhya-Janakpur sister cities, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the country. Kathmandu, where the Pashupatinath temple is located will have sister-city relations with Varanasi, where Kashi Vishwanath temple is situated, according to Foreign Ministry officials. Both the cities are rich in Hindu culture, art and architecture. Similarly, Ayodhya, the birth place of Lord Ram, will have sister-city relations with Janakpur, which is famous as the birth place of Sita as per the Hindu epic Ramayan and where the famous Ram-Janaki temple is located. Two separate MoUs are likely to be signed making Varanasi-Kathmandu and Ayodhya-Janakpur sister-cities during Prime Minister Modi's visit to Nepal to attend the SAARC Summit from November 25 to 28. 

The sister-city relations will enable the Nepalese and Indian cities to promote cultural exchange, sharing of knowledge and expertise as well as develop stronger people-to- people relations between them, said Khaganath Adhikari, spokesperson of Nepal's foreign ministry. In the same manner, preparations are also underway to reach a pact on bilateral motor vehicle agreement and finalising the terms and reference (ToR) for the USD 1 billion line of credit announced by Prime Minister Modi during his Nepal visit in August. The Project Development Agreement between Nepalese Authority and the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam for developing the 900-MW Arun III hydroelectricity project is also on the cards during the visit. Modi is also likely to address Nepalese people at three major pilgrimage sites - Janakpur, Lumbini and Muktinath - which he will visit during his four-day trip to Nepal. Security has been beefed up at the religious sites outside Kathmandu. Integrated security plans have been implemented at the sites with the help of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police personnel. 
 
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