Mauritius PM ends his trip back to roots, visits Nalanda

February 20th, 2008 - 8:17 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Navinchandra Ramgoolam

Patna, Feb 20 (IANS) Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam Wednesday ended his three-day visit to the land of his ancestors Bihar by visiting remains of the ancient Nalanda University and the Buddhist holy city Bodh Gaya. Before leaving for Mauritius Wednesday afternoon, Ramgoolam visited Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment about 2,550 years back.

In Nalanda, officials of Archaeological Survey of India briefed him about the great Chinese traveller Huan Tsang who studied and taught at the university.

Officials said Ramgoolam was also briefed on the proposed Nalanda International University and the road map drawn for the development of 200 villages adopted by the university.

He was later flown in an Indian Air Force helicopter to Bodh Gaya.

“Ramgoolam arrived in Bodh Gaya and visited the Mahabodhi temple where he offered prayers,” official sources said.

On Monday Ramgoolam, accompanied by wife Veena and an official delegation, began a three-day visit to Bihar. Overcome by emotion on visiting the land of his ancestors for the first time, the prime minister touched the ground, after alighting from the aircraft here, and quickly smeared some mud on his forehead.

A rousing and traditional welcome was given to Ramgoolam Tuesday at his ancestral village in Bhojpur district that was decked up like a bride by the residents and the local administration.

He was welcomed in style with loud drumbeats and villagers shouting his praise. A group of women sang Bhojpuri folk songs while schoolchildren greeted him on the way from the helipad to the village.

Ramgoolam announced a grant of $250,000 for the development of roads and a hospital in his ancestral village.

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