Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 28:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today flagged off the first edition of Indo-Nepal Friendship Motor Rally 2015 at Hotel Mayfair Lagoon here.
The rally intended to strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and Nepal consisted of 24 teams and 120 participants from India and Nepal. The rally will cover a journey of 3060 km in 10 days.
The rally, starting from the sea level through the high mountains of the Himalayas, will reach Kathmandu and end at the India Gate in New Delhi on March 8.
The rally, led by Praveen Chandra Bhanjadeo, MLA and former Sports & Youth Services minister, was jointly organised by Kalinga Motor Sports Club, Bhubaneswar and Nepal Automobile Sports Association (NASA) and saw participation of motor sporting enthusiasts including retired Army officers, senior bureaucrats, politicians, motor rally veterans and many more first timers from India and Nepal.
This event carries much importance as the Jagannath Dham of Puri and Pashupatinath of Kathmandu have great pilgrimage importance in both the countries.
The rally would also cover the Buddhist trail in India & Nepal starting from Dhauli Shanti Stupa, where King Ashoka had laid down his sword for peace after the historic battle of Kalinga.
The rally will wade through other places of historical significance linking Lord Buddha and Buddhism such as Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Pataliputra (Patna) and reach Lumbini in Nepal which is widely believed to the birth place of Lord Buddha.
It would also advocate road safety throughout the route. The event is expected to give tremendous impetus for tourism both spiritual and adventurous to people from both the countries.