Varanasi: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa reached Varanasi on Sunday, where he visited the Kashi Vishwanath temple and Kalbhairav. He will also visit Sarnath where the remains of Lord Buddha are kept and pay tributes.

"Rajapaksa will reach Sarnath, pay his obeisance at the Dhamekh Stupa, the sermon site of Tathagata. After that he will worship Lord Buddha at the Buddhist temple at Moolgandh Kuti Vihar and take blessings from the Buddhist monks. He will also visit the Sarnath Archaeological Museum," said K Medhankar Thero, joint secretary of Mahabodhi Society of India earlier in the day.

Posters symbolising strong ties between India and Sri Lanka have been put up on the major routes from where the convoy of Rajapaksa will pass. The posters read the welcome message for the Sri Lankan Prime Minister in Tamil and Sinhalese.

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple administration had been alerted regarding the visit of Rajapaksa. The entry of common devotees from the Chhatdwar was stopped after 10 am. Due to Maghi Purnima, huge number of devotees flocked to the temple to pay obeisance. Tight security arrangements have been made.

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister arrived on a visit to India on Friday. He is on a five-day trip and has held delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed several important issues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 8 once again called upon the Sri Lankan government to ensure equality, justice, peace, and respect for the minority Tamils in the island nation.

"I am confident that the Sri Lankan government will realise the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace, and respect within united Sri Lanka," he had said.

The meeting also focussed on expanding cooperation over terrorism as well as promoting joint economic projects in the island nation.

"India and Sri Lanka are neighbours as well as close friends. We share common bonds. Terrorism is a big problem in our region. Both of us have fought it befittingly. We will further increase our cooperation against terror," said Prime Minister Modi.