Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles arrived in Dehradun, beginning their most extensive nine-day tour of India as a royal couple in Uttarakhand which was hit by a natural calamity in mid-June.
They arrived at Jollygrant airport here at about 4:15 pm and were received by CM Vijay Bahuguna and senior state government officials including DGP BS Siddhu.
Immediately after landing at the airport in a special plane, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall left with their entourage by road for Rishikesh, where they took part in an elaborate "Ganga Arti" held at Parmartha Niketan Ashram for the peace of those who died in the heavy rains and flashfloods in June.
Vedic hymns were chanted and conch shells were blown as the royal couple entered Parmartha Niketan to take part in the ceremony.
Prince Charles and his wife, who will spend the night at Hotel Ananda at Narendra Nagar near Rishikesh, are scheduled to attend a slew of programmes in Dehradun on Thursday to be hosted by the Indian Military Academy, the Forest Research Institute and the Doon School.
The royal couple will return tomorrow evening to the Narendra Nagar hotel, where chief minister Vijay Bahuguna will host a dinner in their honour.
The nine-day India visit of Prince Charles and his wife is their most extensive trip to the country as a married couple.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Dehradun and Rishikesh in view of their visit, with over 600 police personnel and a large number of PAC jawans deployed around places which form part of the couple's itinerary, officials said.