British Secretary of State for International Development, The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP visited Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi to experience India’s ageless beauty, borderless culture and timeless values.
Priti Patel was welcomed in a traditional Indian manner with a garland of flowers, a chandlo (vermillion powder) and the tying of the sacred kalva (sacred thread) by trustees and senior volunteers on behalf of Swaminarayan Akshardham and BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
After admiring the Mayur Dwar (Peacock Gate), the delegation made their way to the Swaminarayan Akshardham Mandir where they witnessed the world’s ‘Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple’.
After offering respects and viewing the Mandir’s architecture, she visited the Gajendra Pithika (Elephant Plinth) that includes 148 life-sized carved stone elephants depicting message of social harmony, peace and spirituality.
Priti Patel offered prayers for world peace and harmony by offering ‘abhishek’, the ceremonial pouring of sanctified water from 151 holy rivers, lakes and ponds across India on the sacred image of Sri Neelkanth Varni.
Thereafter the British Minister experienced the educational exhibition, Sanskruti Vihar – a cultural voyage that sails through 10,000 years of India’s glorious heritage, highlighting India's contributions to humanity through the ages.
Sharing her experience of Akshardham, British Minister Priti Patel wrote, “A faithful visit and a most humbling experience. A very special Mandir filled with devotion and commitment for all volunteers.”