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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Trudeau visits Taj Mahal, hails it as one of the most beautiful places in the world

The Canadian PM was accorded a traditional welcome by officials of the Archaeological Survey of India.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2018 23:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Agra
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, their sons Hadrien and Xavier, daughter Ella-Grace, second right, pose for the photographs in front of Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, their sons Hadrien and Xavier, daughter Ella-Grace, second right, pose for the photographs in front of Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (AP)
         

It was a journey down memory lane for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who visited the Taj Mahal with his family on Sunday.

It was Trudeau’s second visit to the monument, three decades after he visited it with his father who was then the prime minister of Canada.

“About 35 years ago, when I was 11 years old, I came to India on an official trip with my father (former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau). I had come down to Agra from New Delhi to see the Taj Mahal,” recalled Trudeau.

Accompanied by his wife Sophie Gregoire and his three children — Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien — Trudeau reached the monument at 10.40am and stayed for over an hour.

Dressed in a blue coat and brown trousers, he was accorded a traditional welcome by officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

“For me, to be present on an official trip while bringing my kids with me to share this is really special and being able to enjoy this as a dad with my kids is really nice,” the Canadian Prime Minister said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, plays with his son Hadrien as his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, second left, daughter, daughter Ella-Grace, left, and son Xavier watch during their visit to the Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, plays with his son Hadrien as his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, second left, daughter, daughter Ella-Grace, left, and son Xavier watch during their visit to the Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. ( AP )

Senior superintendent of ASI Bhuvan Vikram Singh and an official guide accompanied the family as they visited the main mausoleum.

They saw the graves of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal while entering the main mausoleum.

“Thank you for the wonderful visit to one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Trudeau wrote in the visitor’s book before walking out of the monument at around 11.50am.

“Taj Mahal gates were closed at 9.40am for the VVIP’s visit and the monument remained closed for the public till the time the VVIP left,” said Singh.

Braj Bhushan, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) commandant of the Taj Mahal unit in Agra, said the Canadian leader and his family were accorded special police protection.

“The visit by the Canadian Prime Minister was good. We accorded special police protection to them, which is mandatory for any head of the state, who visits Taj Mahal. They spent quality time at the Taj Mahal and were there for one hour,” said Bhushan.

Trudeau, who arrived in India on Saturday, is on a week-long state visit to the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Feb 18, 2018 22:36 IST

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