"I recognise how Buddhists all over the world revere Bodh Gaya as a place of pilgrimage. We in India would like to develop Bodh Gaya so that it can become the spiritual capital and civilisational bond between India and the Buddhist world. The government of India would like to provide all possible support that its Buddhist cousin nations need for the satisfaction of their spiritual needs from this holiest of holy places for them," he cited after visiting Mahabodhi Temple.

Describing Buddha as a 'crown jewel' of India, which accepts all ways of worship, PM Modi stated he revered Buddha as a reformer of not only Hinduism but also the world, who gave a new world view and vision which is critical for survival of all.

"This quality of Hinduism in India was a product of many great spiritual masters and chief among them was Buddha. And this is what sustains the secular character of India," he said, adding that the enlightenment which Buddha attained in Bodh Gaya also lit the light of enlightenment in Hinduism.

He stated he as Prime Minister felt good to visit the holy place after Jawaharlal Nehru and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, noting that it was special to be here on Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna.

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