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S Korean Prez Moon Jae-in visits Akshardham temple, praises its architecture

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

South Korean today kicked-off his tour with a visit to the here and said the two countries may have different cultures but share common values such as peace, harmony and unity in diversity.

The president, accompanied by his wife Kim Jung-sook, arrived at the sprawling premises this evening from the and spent an hour there, admiring its iconic architecture and listening to the stories behind it design.

The two visiting dignitaries entered the premises through its beautiful Bharat Upwan, and were welcomed with garlands, a 'tika' and 'kalwa' (holy thread) on the wrist in front of the Mayur Swagat Dwar by Sadhu Gnanmunidas, Swami of the temple.

"I am very delighted to visit this grand temple as part of the first leg of my visit. After, seeing this, the feeling that I get is that and may be having different cultures, but the two countries share commonalities in values such as peace, harmony and unity in diversity," Moon said.

The Korean president, after arriving at the Swaminarayan Temple, billed as the 'World's Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple', posed for pictures and then went to the main temple where he paid floral tribute at the sanctum sanctorum and performed its 'parikrama' (circumambulation).

"The admired the architecture, and he looked at the detailed carvings on its domed ceilings, pillars and the Gajendra Pithika ('elephant plinth') and exclaimed that the work seems 'beyond human capacity'. He really appreciated the craftsmanship that went into its making," Sadhu Gnanmunidas, told

He received the at the temple and also gave him a tour of the temple complex that was built in 2005, and is one of the most-visited cultural sites in the country.

Moon is on a four-day visit to India, during which he will hold talks with on several issues, including the situation on the and ways to boost bilateral trade and defence cooperation.

At the airport here, he was received by

At the end of the tour, Moon and his wife shook hands with some members of the crowd that had gathered at the temple.

They also went around the main temple on golf carts and later performed 'abhishek' by offering holy water.

The South Korean leader admired the 'Gajendra Pithika' that includes 148 life-sized carved stone elephants.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, July 08 2018. 22:05 IST