Modi made the announcement while addressing the gathering at the International Vesak Day celebrations at the BMICH in Colombo today.
“I have the great pleasure to announce that from August this year, Air India will operate direct flights between Colombo and Varanasi,” he said.
Modi said the devotees will now be able to travel directly to Varanasi from Colombo.
“My Tamil brothers and sisters will also be able to visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Viswanath,” he added.
Varanasi is a city on the banks of the Ganges in the Uttar Pradesh state of North India, 320 kilometres (200 mi) south-east of the state capital, Lucknow, and 121 kilometres (75 mi) east of Allahabad.
A major religious hub in India, it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Varanasi lies along National Highway 2, which connects it to Kolkata, Kanpur, Agra, and Delhi, and is served by Varanasi Junction and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport. (Colombo Gazette)