Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday the country's flag carrier will operate direct Varanasi-Colombo-Varanasi flights from August.
"I have the great pleasure to announce that from August this year, Air India will operate direct flights between Colombo and Varanasi," Modi said while speaking at the 14th UN recognised International Vesak Day.
"My Tamil brothers and sisters will also be able to visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Vishwanath," the Prime Minister said.
"I believe we are at a moment of great opportunity in our ties with Sri Lanka," he added.
Modi is on two-day state visit to Sri Lanka.
"Our region is blessed to have given to the world the invaluable gift of Lord Buddha and his teachings," Modi said.
"Buddhism and its various strands are deep seated in our governance, culture and philosophy."
"Sri Lanka takes pride in being among the most important nerve centres of Buddhist teachings and learning," he said.