British PM Sunak, wife spent 45 minutes at Akshardham temple, enquired about its architecture and history
From the reception area to the main temple complex, there is a distance of about 150 metres and both of them walked barefoot back and forth, the official told PTI.They first offered flower petals pushparpan to the golden idol of Swaminarayan ji and then offered aarti, he said.They also offered flower petals to idols of Sita-Ram, Radha-Krishna, Laxmi Narayana and Shiva-Parvati in the temple complex.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty spent 45 minutes at the Akshardham Temple here on Sunday morning, offering prayers and learning about its architecture and history, according to temple management officials.
They reached the temple dedicated to Swaminarayan, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, early morning and walked barefoot from the reception area to the main temple complex -- a distance of about 150 metres.
Sunak, who was dressed in a crisp white shirt and navy blue trousers, and his wife, who paired a beige kurta with a bright pink dupatta and loose pants, were accorded a traditional welcome at the temple.
Sunak and his wife spent about 45 minutes at the Akshardham temple and offered prayers. They were gifted a marble elephant and a marble peacock besides a special replica of Akshardham, a senior temple management official told PTI.
''It rained but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife graciously offered prayers at our temple and it is a matter of great honour for us to have hosted them at this revered temple,'' he said.
A trustee of the BAPS Swaminarayan Trust, UK and a volunteer from the Neasden temple in London accompanied Sunak and his wife during their visit, said another temple management official who was part of the reception team.
''Prime Minister Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty walked barefoot in the temple premises even in rainy weather. From the reception area to the main temple complex, there is a distance of about 150 metres and both of them walked barefoot back and forth,'' the official told PTI.
They first offered flower petals (pushparpan) to the golden idol of Swaminarayan ji and then offered 'aarti', he said.
''They also offered flower petals to idols of Sita-Ram, Radha-Krishna, Laxmi Narayana and Shiva-Parvati in the temple complex. The UK PM enquired about the architecture of the temple and its history,'' the official said.
He also saw some of the sanctified items that belonged to Swaminarayan ji, such as shoes and a garland, the official added.
After the visit, Sunak joined the G20 leaders to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial Rajghat.
Sunak and other world leaders have gathered in Delhi to attend the two-day G20 Summit that began on Saturday.
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