Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa offers prayers in Tirupati; leaves for Colombo
The visiting leader was presented a sacred silk cloth, a holy memento and sacred prasadam by Lord Venkateswara temple officials.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa offered prayers at the famous Lord Venkateswara temple at nearby Tirumala on Tuesday and left for Colombo, winding up his five-day tour of India. The visiting leader was presented a sacred silk cloth, a holy memento and sacred prasadam by the temple officials.
Rajapaksa, who stayed at the heavily guarded TTD Guest House on the hills overnight after his arrival on Monday evening, came to the over 2,000-year old shrine just before the crack of dawn and spent about an hour, officials said.
Clad in the traditional attire of white shirt and silk dhoti, the 74-year old Lankan leader, an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara, was accorded a traditional reception by top authorities and conducted to the sanctum sanctorum, amid chanting of Vedic hymns by priests.
Rajapaksa witnessed the weekly Ashtadala Paada Padmaradhana ritual, in which priests performed “archana” to the idol of the presiding deity Lord Venkateswara using 108 golden lotuses, a temple official told PTI.He had arrived on the hills on Monday by road from Renigunta airport, about 20 kms from here.
After a brief halt in the guest house on his return from the temple, Rajapaksa left for Colombo from Renigunta.
एक सफल भारत की यात्रा के बाद वापस देश लौट रहा हूँ । मेरे दूत दल को और मुझे उत्तम अतिथि सत्कार दिलाने हेतु प्रधानमंत्री @narendramodi और भारत सरकार को मेरा हार्दिक अभिवादन अर्पित करना चाहता हूँ। https://t.co/QKaDeD5cCQ— Mahinda Rajapaksa (@PresRajapaksa) February 11, 2020
This is Rajapaksa's maiden visit to the temple as Prime Minister. He had visited the shrine and paid his obeisance to Lord Venkateswara on several occasions in the past as the island nation's President and also after demitting the high office, officials said.
Rajapaksa, who arrived in India on Friday on his first overseas tour after being appointed as Sri Lankan Prime Minister in November last year, had visited Varanasi, Sarnath and Bodh Gaya after his engagements in New Delhi.
Before leaving #Varanasi, I had the honour of visiting the sacred River Ganga. I commend PM @narendramodi’s #NamamiGange effort, not only because of the river’s spiritual and cultural significance but also because it is host to approximately 40% of #India’s population. pic.twitter.com/kQ5Vedyju3— Mahinda Rajapaksa (@PresRajapaksa) February 10, 2020
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held talks with Rajapaksa, elder brother of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, covering the entire expanse of bilateral ties between the two countries including in areas of defence and security.
India is delighted to welcome @PresRajapaksa! It is a matter of joy for us that he has chosen India for his first visit after assuming the PM’s office.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 8, 2020
We had wide ranging talks on multiple subjects that will further cement India-Sri Lanka friendship. pic.twitter.com/lI2FRtMfLf