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Soft diplomacy touch: Modi gives Xi Jinping a guided tour of Mahabalipuram

The two leaders will also enjoy a dance program by students of Kalakshetra Foundation near the Shore Temple

T E Narasimhan  |  Mamallapuram 

Mamallapuram: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Mamallapuram, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.
Mamallapuram: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Mamallapuram, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned guide for visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is in the country for the informal summit.

Modi, who was in Tamil traditional dress, received Xi near Arjuna's penance in the famed sculpture town Mahabalipuram, about 60 km from Chennai and took him inside the rock cut temple and was seen explaining about the monument to the Chinese leader like a professional guide.

The two leaders then walked over to Krishna's Butter Ball - a gigantic boulder weighing about 250 ton seated on a short incline. Though it may seem that the boulder would roll down anytime, it has been there like that for aeon.

From there the two leaders travelled a short distance in the same car to reach the Five Rathas. The two leaders sat for a small chat sipping tender coconut water. Modi was seen handing over the tissue paper to Xi like a close family member or friend.

From the Five Rathas, the two leaders drove to Shore Temple located close to the sea built during 700-728 AD. It is a three shrine configuration - two dedicated to Lord Shiva and one for Lord Vishnu.

The two leaders will also enjoy a dance programme by students of Kalakshetra Foundation near the Shore Temple.

Later, they will have dinner together and taste Tamil delicacies, said an official.

First Published: Fri, October 11 2019. 18:25 IST
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