Friday, June 21

Rishi Sunak at the Akshardham Temple in Delhi with wife

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty on Sunday morning offered prayers at the Akshardham Temple in Delhi with their team.

They spent around 40 minutes at the temple premises. Sunak visited every statue personally and did an aarti too, according to Akshardham Temple official Jyotindra Dave. Dave added that Sunak spoke to the saints at the temple and that they were happy with their visit.

Jyotindra Dave, an official of the Akshardham temple said, “Britain PM Rishi Sunak came with his wife Akshata and the entire team. He had a great experience and spend more than 40 minutes. He visited every statue personally, and did an aarti too. They spoke to us too and were very happy with the visit” .

During his visit, Sunak was given an overview of the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple, according to a statement. Spiritual leader of BAPS His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj gave a special message to Sunak and his team.

The note given by His Holiness read: 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.

Speaking about Sunak’s visit, Akshardham Temple director told India Today that Sunak contacted the temple authorities seeking a darshan at the temple. Sunak had asked the team when he could visit, to which he was told that he could visit the temple anytime.

“Rishi Sunak had contacted us, asking to have darshan at the temple. He had asked us what time he could visit. We told him he could come whenever he feels like,” he said. The temple director added that Sunak said he will keep coming back whenever he gets a chance to do so.

Ahead of the couple’s visit to the famous temple, security arrangements around the temple premises were heightened. The Delhi Traffic Police had also issued alerts in the wake of Sunak’s Akshardham Temple visit. The Delhi Traffic Police on Sunday said that Controlled Zone 2 was implemented and buses will not be operating on the Ring Road between ISBT Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan.

Buses will continue to operate on the remaining stretch of Ring Road and road network beyond Ring Road towards Delhi borders. Commuters traveling towards Airport are also advised to take the Rao Tula Ram Marg instead of Dhaula Kuan.

Before his temple visit, Sunak said that he is a proud Hindu and that he celebrated the Hindu festival Raksha Bandhan but could not celebrate Krishna Janmashthami. I’m a proud Hindu, and that’s how I was raised. That’s how I am. Hopefully, I can visit a Mandir while I’m here for the next couple of days,” Sunak told the news agency ANI.

On Friday, Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty landed in Delhi to participate in the G20 Summit that commenced on Saturday. Upon their arrival, the couple was greeted by Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

Choubey greeted them with a Jai Siya Ram and presented the couple with Rudraksh beads, a copy of the Bhagavad Geeta and a Hanuman Chalisa. PM Modi and Sunak also met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit and discussed ways to deepen trade linkages and boost investment.