Direct AI flights between Colombo and Varanasi from August

Direct AI flights between Colombo and Varanasi from August

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COLOMBO (TIP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced, May 12, that India‘s flag carrier Air India would begin direct flights between Colombo and the holy city of Varanasi from August. Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka,
 made the announcement of the beginning of the flights during his 
address at the inauguration of the International Vesak Day, the biggest 
festival of Buddhists.

He said the flights will allow “my Tamil brothers and sisters” to 
visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Viswanath. At a distance of 10 
kilometres from Varanasi, lies Sarnath, one of the most revered Buddhist
 pilgrimage centres. It is believed that after attaining the 
enlightenment at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, it was in Sarnath that Lord Buddha 
preached his first sermon, sanctified as Maha Dharm Chakra Parivartan.

The direct flights will aid pilgrims from Sri Lanka, 
a Buddhist-majority country, to visit Sarnath. Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh
 is the parliamentary constituency of the prime minister, from where he 
contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election. This is Modi’s second visit to 
Sri Lanka in two years. He arrived yesterday primarily to attend the 
International Vesak Day celebrations and his visit is aimed at 
reinforcing the traditional connect between India and Sri Lanka.


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