On the second day of the G20 Summit, United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited Delhi's Akshardham temple on Sunday. He was accompanied by his wife Akshata Murty. Earlier on September 8, Sunak had expressed pride for his 'Hindu' roots and was ecstatic to visit the temple.
During his visit, Sunak was greeted by swamis, as well as senior leaders from the Akshardham Mandir, who relayed a special message on behalf of Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual leader of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).
Sunak was given overview of temple
The British prime minister was also 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, a statement issued by BAPS said. Inside the main temple complex, Sunak and his wife paid their respects to the sacred images and admired the art and architecture.
"My wife and I were delighted to visit Swaminarayan Akshardham for darshan and puja this morning. We were amazed and awed by the beauty of this temple and its universal message of peace, harmony, and becoming a better human being. This is not only a place of worship, but a landmark that also portrays India's values, culture and contributions to the world," Sunak was quoted as saying.
Security tightened in and around temple
The Delhi Police said elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in view of the UK PM's visit to the Akshardham temple. The security has been tightened in and around the temple, the added. This is Sunak's first visit to India as Prime Minister since he assumed the office of Prime Minister of the UK in October last year.
PM Modi holds bilateral meeting with Sunak
Earlier on September 9, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with his UK counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 Summit being held in the national capital under India's presidency. The meeting between the two leaders was held at the 'Bharat Mandapam' in Pragati Maidan, the venue of the Summit.
The two leaders also participated in Session 1 on 'One Earth' during the G20 Summit. Sunak said that the world is looking to G20 to provide leadership and that the leaders are meeting at a time of enormous challenges. He expressed confidence that the leaders will together be able to address the challenges.
(With inputs from agencies)