Modi, Turnbull visit Akshardham Temple

NEW DELHI
10 Apr 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull today visited the iconic Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in east Delhi using metro ride to reach the landmark. The two leaders were welcomed by priests with garlands upon their arrival at the temple. A priest also tied sacred thread to their wrists as Modi explained its significance to Turnbull. Before stepping into the temple, the two leaders obliged photographers too. "Visited the magnificent Akshardham Temple with PM @TurnbullMalcolm," Modi tweeted along with a set of photographs. They shared a Metro ride from Mandi House to Akshardham station. They also took a tour on a golf cart to see other attractions within the temple complex. As they walked on the temple steps, a priest, who they flanked, acquainted them with its architecture. Turnbull was seen admiring the temple structure, endowed with architectural grandeur. The temple is run by priests from the Swaminarayan sect and was opened to the public in 2005. Both leaders also sat on the steps of the temple and were seen chatting. Swaminarayan sect is a modern spiritual tradition. A sub-sect of Vaishnava Hinduism, it originated in Gujarat. Its followers offer devotion to and worship Swaminarayan as a form of Parabrahma. The sect has temples in various parts of the world, including in the US and countries of Europe. Australia's Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are among other cities which have Swaminarayan temples. The Australian Prime Minister arrived New Delhi yesterday on a four-day visit. Meanwhile, Turnbull, who is on a trip to India, will be visiting the city tomorrow. His engagements here include a visit to the Tata Consultancy Office and a meeting with Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao on April 12. "The Australian PM will land at Mumbai airport at 3.30 pm and will proceed to the TCS office in suburban Andheri. On April 12, Turnbull is scheduled to meet Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, before flying back to Australia," a state government official told PTI.(PTI)