Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the gifting of 16,000 handcrafted candles from India to Sri Lanka on the auspicious occasion of International Vesak Day.

The first consignment of candles will be handed over by the Indian High Commission in Colombo to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic here that houses the relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha.

According to an Indian External Affairs Ministry statement here, the candles have been specially handcrafted from the paraffin wax produced at the world’s oldest operating refinery in Digboi in the Indian state of Assam.

The Digboi refinery, commissioned in 1901, is considered the birth place of the Indian oil industry. It is operated by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) which has a subsidiary in Sri Lanka, Lanka IOC.

Modi on Friday visited the historic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic accompanied by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and offered floral tributes.

Earlier in the day, Modi was the chief guest at the inauguration in Colombo of the UN-recognised 14th International Vesak Day meant to mark the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha.

Modi arrived in Colombo on Thursday on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of President Sirisena.

This is his second visit to the Indian Ocean island nation as Prime Minister after his visit in March 2015.