Sri Lankan PM on a spiritual visit to India, offers prayers at Tirumala temple
Ranil Wickremesinghe and his wife Maitree were accorded a traditional welcome by the temple priests and functionaries and later taken to the sanctum sanctorum of the 2000-year-old shrineindia Updated: Dec 22, 2016 13:27 IST
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala.
On arrival at the ancient shrine, Wickremesinghe and his wife Maitree were accorded a traditional welcome by the temple priests and functionaries and later taken to the sanctum sanctorum of the 2000-year-old shrine, chairman of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Chadalawada Krishnamurthy said.
The prime minister and his wife together made an offering in the hundi (offering box) of the shrine, where they spent over 20 minutes, he added.
He was accompanied by Lankan ministers DM Swaminathan, Palani Digambaram and other officials during his 15-hour spiritual visit.
Wickremesinghe was honoured with a sacred silk cloth besides the holy laddu prasadam and Theertham (celestial water) in a tiny bottle, while the priests, amid chanting vedic hymns, gave their blessings.
Wickremesinghe flew in to the Renigunta airport, 20 km from here, by a special chopper from Chennai on Wednesday evening and drove straight to the sacred hills.
After an overnight stay, the Lankan PM paid obeisance to Lord Venkateswara in the morning and left for Chennai to fly back to Sri Lanka, the chairman said.
The last visit of Wickremesinghe to the temple in his capacity as Prime Minister was in 2002.
Tight security arrangements were put in place here and at the airport.
First Published: Dec 22, 2016 13:26 IST