The 12th President of India and the first woman to hold the office, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil along with her spouse, Dr Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat, visited Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi to experience India’s ageless beauty, borderless culture and timeless values.
On behalf of Swaminarayan Akshardham and BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Dr J.M. Dave and senior volunteers welcomed the President in traditional style by applying a chandlo (vermillion powder), tying a sacred nada chhadi (sacred thread) and garlanding her with a sanctified flower garland in a gesture of peace and friendship.
During her visit to the Swaminarayan Akshardham Cultural Complex, President Patil admired the Mayur Dwar (Peacock Gate) and experienced the Akshardham Mandir. Offering their respects and reverence, the President and her spouse offered flowers petals at the murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
Captivated by the Akshardham Mandir, the President expressed, “This work of such magnitude and completion in five years cannot be done without the grace of God.”
President Patil offered her respects and prayers for India and world peace by offering ‘abhishek’, the ceremonial pouring of sanctified water from 151 holy rivers, lakes and ponds across India on the sacred image of Shri Neelkanth Varni. Thereafter, the delegation participated in the Maha Arti and viewed the musical fountain show, The Cycle of Life.
Delighted with her experience, President Patil wrote, “Divinity has been glorified by the beautiful artistic carvings par excellence. It enriches the serenity of devotion and faith which is sublime. In addition, this is an artistic wonder with human imagination which gives a fantastic experience made melodious with water and music. My pranams to Swamiji and all the devotees. Thanks."
Dr. Devisingh Shekhawat commented on his experience by writing, “I am fortunate to visit the Swaminarayan Temple after our 47th marriage anniversary. I have a deep feeling that I will get peace and harmony in the future and also wish that for all the millions of devotees who visit this shrine of Swaminarayan - who is an epitome of wisdom and the almighty God."