news Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 18, 2015 | 4:00 pm IST Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and his wife Jayanthi Pushpa Kumari offered prayers to Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala on Wednesday. The couple, who were accompanied by some cabinet ministers and top officials, participated in the pre-dawn rituals at the famous hill shrine. According to an official of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the temple, the Sri Lankan president took part in 'suprabhatha' conducted in the sanctum of the temple. Though the visiting dignitary was entitled to a direct entry through the Mahadwaram (main entrance), he reached the temple through the Vaikuntam queue complex like a commoner. TTD Joint Executive Officer K.S.Sreenivasa Raju and other officials welcomed the president and his entourage at the queue complex. After participating in the rituals, Sirisena worshipped the deity. TTD's executive officer D. Sambasiva Rao presented him with 'laddu' (sweet), sacred silk cloth, books and memento of the presiding deity. The pundits (priests) of the temple blessed him with Vedic hymns at Ranganayakula Mandapam. Later, speaking on behalf of the Sri Lankan president, the island's eastern province Governor Austin Fernando said their four-day official visit was successful. Talking to reporters, he thanked the government of India for its warm hospitality. He said it was heartening that during the new president's first visit to India several agreements were signed. He also termed as 'fruitful' the talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee. IANS Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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