New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning offered prayers at the famous Guruvayur Krishna Temple in Kerala before heading to the Maldives which will be his first overseas visit in his second term as Prime Minister.
PM Modi arrived in a special naval helicopter from Kochi (where he arrived last night) at Sree Krishna College Ground near the temple at 9.50 am. He was accompanied by Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan and Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran to the temple where he was received with a traditional poornakumbham (pot full of offerings).
Dressed in mundu and veshti (white shawl), the traditional dress of Kerala, PM Modi performed the ritual of “Thulabharam” in which he weighed himself against 100-kg of lotus flowers on a giant scale. He also offered various items including ghee, a special variety of red banana (kathali), among other things.
After praying at the temple, PM Modi will address party workers in Trissur. This is PM Modi’s first visit to Kerala after the BJP’s landslide victory in the national election.
The Prime Minister’s visit to Kerala coincides with the tour of Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his Constituency of Wayanad in Northern Kerala. Rahul Gandhi, who reached Wayanad on Friday, is scheduled to participate in at least 15 public receptions across the Constituency in the next two days.
PM Modi had visited the Guruvayur temple in 2008 after he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat for a second time. From Kerala, PM Modi will begin his two-day official visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka.