Hugely proud of my Indian roots: UK PM Sunak after offering prayers at Akshardham Temple
Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty spent 45 minutes at the temple where they walked barefoot even in rainy weather
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty spent 45 minutes at the Akshardham Temple in New Delhi 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. 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 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.
“I am hugely proud of my Indian roots and my connections to India ... being a proud Hindu means I will always have a connection to India and the people of India,” said Sunak. His remarks along with images from the Akshardham Temple visit were shared on Twitter by the British High Commission in India.
“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 Swaminarayanji 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 Swaminarayanji, such as shoes and a garland, the official added.
(With agency inputs)