One of Sri Lanka's oldest Buddhist Seema Malaka temple was visited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
Further he has taken part in the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony which used to held in that Buddhist temple.
Modi, accompanied by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, prayed and offered flowers at the altar of the temple, which is a part of the more-than-120-year-old Gangaramaya Temple.
The temple's chief monk received the two leaders. Modi entered the holy sanctum of the temple and lit lamps- a traditional practice - on the eve of the International Vesak Day celebrations, the biggest festival of Buddhists.
Modi and Wickramsinghe together pressed a switch to begin the lamp-lighting ceremony, which was characterised by brilliant multi-coloured lights and fireworks display. The Gangaramaya Temple is situated in the bustlinginner-city Colombo, nearby the scenic Beira Lake.
The temple complex is a popular tourist attraction, a place of worshipand a learning and vocational training centre.
The temple's architecture demonstrates an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture and the temple is involved in welfare work. The temple is uniquely attractive and tolerant to congregation members of many different religions.
Earlier on Thursday , Modi was received at the Colombo International Airport by Wickremesinghe and several senior ministers, including Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.
On reaching Colombo, Modi tweeted, "I am happy to be in Sri Lanka, where I will join the International Vesak Day Celebrations."
Reached Colombo. I am happy to be in Sri Lanka, where I will join the International Vesak Day Celebrations. pic.twitter.com/DuVRPNQjxk— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 11, 2017
On his second visit to Sri Lanka in two years, Modi ishere primarily to participate in the Vesak Day celebrations tomorrow. Before leaving for Colombo, he wrote in a Facebook post that it was an honour for him to join these celebrations with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.
My programmes in Sri Lanka began with a visit to the Seema Malaka Temple, a place filled with calm and positivity. pic.twitter.com/VDXXP6effd— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 11, 2017