The visit assumes significance as it comes against the backdrop of Partner City Agreement between Kyoto and Varanasi, Modi's Lok Sabha constituency, signed by the two leaders during the Prime Minister's visit to Japan in August last year.

Abe, who is on a three-day day visit to India from today, along with Modi will attend the 'Ganga Arti', a beautifully choreographed ritual worship of the holy river performed daily at the fabled Dashashwamedh Ghat.

A gigantic make-shift stage has been erected on the river bed with the help of pontoons and a music system is being installed with special permission from the Allahabad High Court.

Army and Navy personnel would be guarding the make-shift stage from where the Premiers will enjoy a panoramic view of the event.

The ancient temple town, situated less than 15 kms from Sarnath where Buddha delivered his first sermon upon attaining enlightenment, boasts of a special place in the religious and cultural consciousness of Japan as well as most of the South East Asian countries with sizeable Buddhist populations.

Modi and Abe share a good chemistry and their personal camaraderie is often visible in their Twitter messages. The Prime Minister today described Abe as a great friend of India and a phenomenal leader.

"India is all set to welcome its great friend & a phenomenal leader, PM @AbeShinzo. His visit will further deepen India-Japan relations," Modi said in his tweets.

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