The Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand, and his delegation visited Swaminarayan Akshardham in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat. The Deputy Prime Minister was greeted at the ornately carved stone Mayur Dwar with a garland of flowers by Vishwaviharidas Swami on behalf of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. The High Commissioner of New Zealand to India, HE David Pines and other delegates were also welcomed in traditional style by senior BAPS volunteers.
During his visit, the Deputy Prime Minister and delegation were given an overview of Swaminarayan Akshardham. First, the Deputy Prime Minister went to the Abhishek Mandapam where he performed the abhishek of Shri Nilkanth Varni Maharaj while offering prayers for world peace, progress and harmony.
Then, inside the Akshardham Maha Mandir, he paid respects to the murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan by offering flowers, and admired the art and architecture created by thousands of volunteers and artisans under the inspiration of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj to share the messages of love, peace, tolerance, non-violence, co-existence and global harmony.
Deputy PM Winston shared, “I am thankful to you for arranging this special visit on Monday as Akshardham temple remains closed every Monday. I am overwhelmed by this visit and deeply moved by the messages given here. Thank you for your hospitality and I appreciate the birthday wishes given to me well in advance by swami a month ago. Looking forward for a traditional stone mandir by BAPS in New Zealand.”
Before departing, Deputy PM Winston wrote in the visitors book, “Sincere appreciation for a special visit and guidance.”

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