Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday received the first batch of pilgrims who arrived in the newly-launched bus service between Nepal and India from Janakpur to Ayodhya.
He offered saffron scarves to the male passengers, while state Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi welcomed the women. The passengers were also offered boxes of sweets.
The reception gate was decked with flowers and many religious tableaus were present as drums played to receive the debut passengers of the cross-border bus service linking the two nations as part of the "Ramayan Circuit", inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepali counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli on Friday.
Adityanath also unveiled a special stamp published by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate the 'Deep Diwali' held by the state BJP government in 2016 on Diwali on the banks of the river Saryu in Ayodhya.
People from the temple town were excited about the event and were seen jostling with each other outside the 'Ram Katha' Park to receive and mingle with the guests who arrived.
Nepalese pilgrims who took this bus service from Janakpur, the birth place of Sita, expressed their happiness at taking the first journey to the land of Ram and said the 520-km trip was comfortable.
The bus entered from Gorakhpur and travelled along the Sant Kabeernagar highway after which it was received by district and police officials and escorted to Ayodhya.