Modi-Turnbull day out: Purchase metro token, visit Akshardham

Modi-Turnbull day out: Purchase metro token, visit Akshardham

Modi-Turnbull day out: Purchase metro token, visit Akshardham

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull today visited the iconic Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in east Delhi and took a metro ride to reach the landmark.

The two leaders were welcomed by priests with garlands upon their arrival at the temple. A priest also tied sacred thread to their wrists as Modi explained its significance to Turnbull.

The leaders reached the Mandi House station around 4 PM where an official briefed Turnbull about the 213-km, and expanding, metro network.

"They travelled with tokens like regular commuters do. They were also shown the wall exhibits that trace the history of the Mandi House circle. Train movement was not affected on Blue Line due to the VIP movement," a DMRC official said.

The movement of commuters was regulated during their journey. People raised slogans of 'bharat mata ki jai' and 'Modi Modi', as the two leaders boarded the metro. They reached the Akshardham station around 4.15 PM.

During the course of their brief metro journey, Turnbull took a number of selfies and uploaded them on Twitter. Turnbull and Modi offered flowers at the Akshardham Temple and posed for joint photographs there.

"Visited the magnificent Akshardham Temple with PM @TurnbullMalcolm," Modi tweeted along with a set of photographs.

They also took a tour on a golf cart to see other attractions within the temple complex. As they walked on the temple steps, a priest, who they flanked, acquainted them with its architecture.

Turnbull was seen admiring the temple structure, endowed with architectural grandeur. The temple is run by priests from the Swaminarayan sect and was opened to the public in 2005.

Both leaders also sat on the steps of the temple and were seen chatting. Swaminarayan sect is a modern spiritual tradition. A sub-sect of Vaishnava Hinduism, it originated in Gujarat. Its followers offer devotion to and worship Swaminarayan as a form of Parabrahma.

The sect has temples in various parts of the world, including in the US and countries of Europe. Australia's Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are among other cities which have Swaminarayan temples. The Australian Prime Minister arrived New Delhi yesterday on a four-day visit.