Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he aspires to build a grand monument of Lord Buddha in Gujarat's Aravalli district where Buddhist relics were found during an excavation.

Addressing a gathering in Modasa city on the second day of his visit to the state, Modi, dressed in a traditional tribal attire, said the recent excavations in Aravalli have established that the Buddha was revered in the western belt of India as well.

“There was a general notion earlier that Lord Buddha was popular in the eastern belt of the country only. But, the excavation at Dev ni Mori near Shamlaji temple (in Aravalli) some time back has established that Lord Buddha's influence had reached the western belt too,” he said.

“It is my dream to build a grand monument of Lord Buddha at Dev ni Mori, so that people from across the world can come here and visit this place. I'm confident of fulfilling my dream with your blessings,” Modi said.

The prime minister also referred to his home town Vadnagar, saying even Chinese traveller Hsuan Tsang mentioned in his diary that there was a monastery in Vadnagar where nearly 10,000 Buddhist monks used to live centuries ago.

Modi was here to dedicate a Rs 552 crore scheme to provide drinking water to over 600 villages and three towns in the district.

He suggested that the Gujarat government should include a chapter in engineering colleges about the latest technology used for lifting and pumping water in such projects commissioned across the state in recent times.

Modi said the BJP government in the state believed in finishing a work completely instead of doing something just to save its face during elections.

“Ever since the BJP got the chance to serve the people here, we never tried to win elections by doing some small work, as if throwing some pieces to attract votes during elections. We never walked on such a path. We always focused on doing our work in a perfect manner,” he said.

The Gujarat Assembly elections are due later this year.