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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty on Sunday visited Akshardham temple in the national capital and offered prayers.
Elated on his visit to the temple, Sunak said: “My wife and I were delighted to visit Swaminarayan Akshardham for darshan and puja this morning.”
Sunak, who is on a visit to India to attend the G20 Summit, arrived with wife Akshata at the Akshardham temple early this morning. They were warmly welcomed in a traditional Hindu manner symbolising goodwill and friendship on their arrival at the temple.
Akshata was seen in a traditional salwar kurta and both she and Sunak were photographed barefoot inside the temple premises.
Elaborate security arrangements were put in place in and around the temple.
In a post shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, Akshardham Temple stated, “Honoured to welcome Prime Minister @RishiSunak and #AkshataMurthy to celebrate the shared cultural heritage between India and the UK.”
PM Sunak and his convoy arrived at 6:45 am in the morning and were warmly welcomed in a traditional Hindu manner symbolising goodwill and friendship, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple said in a statement.
Sunak was then greeted by Swamis as well as senior leaders from the temple who relayed a special message on behalf of Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual head of the BAPS.
The spiritual leader extended his personal wishes and prayers for Sunak and the other delegates, the temple authorities said.
“In the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, we pray for you and all the attendees: May the summit be a resounding success in collectively helping the whole world towards peace, righteous prosperity, and global harmony,” the message from Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual leader of BAPS read.
During his visit, the UK Prime Minister was given an overview of Swaminarayan Akshardham — a 100-acre spiritual and cultural complex that portrays the traditions and ancient architecture of India and promotes the timeless Hindu spiritual messages of faith, devotion and harmony.
PM Sunak and his wife paid their respects to the sacred images and admired the art and architecture.
The couple also performed ‘abhishek’ (ritual pouring of water) on the idol of Shri Nilkanth Varni Maharaj, and offered prayers for world’s peace, progress and harmony.
Later, Sunak visited Rajghat here along with other dignitaries and paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi.
On Saturday, the UK Prime Minister took part in the G20 Summit being held at the Bharat Mandapam venue at Pragati Maidan here and also attended the dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu.