British PM Sunak and, wife Akshata visit Akshardham temple, perform 'puja'

This is Sunak's first visit to India since he became Britain's prime minister

G20-SUMMIT/SUNAK-TEMPLE British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty offer prayers as they visit the Akshardham Hindu Temple on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, September 10, 2023 | Reuters

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty, on Sunday, visited the Akshardham temple in Delhi. Sunak is in Delhi for the G20 summit, where world leaders are holding meetings to discuss some of the world's most important matters.

This is Sunak's first visit to India since he became Britain's prime minister in October 2022. Security around the temple had been tightened before Sunak's visit.

Sunak was dressed in a shirt and trousers, while wife Akshata was dressed in a kurta and palazzos. They were given a traditional welcome. The couple was later greeted by swamis and senior leaders from the Akshardham Mandir. 

Inside the temple, the couple paid respects to the deities and admired the architecture of the temple. They were also given an overview of the 100-acre spiritual and cultural complex. After visiting the temple, Sunak headed to Rajghat to pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi along with other world leaders.

Sunak has, previously, expressed pride in being a Hindu. In August, Sunak attended 'Ram Katha' being conducted by spiritual leader Morari Bapu at Jesus College, University of Cambridge. At the time he had said that his Hindu faith gives him the courage to do his best as the Prime Minister of Britain and guides him in every aspect of his life and that a Ganesha idol sits on his desk at No 10 Downing Street.

Sunak and his wife were seen strolling the streets of Delhi the previous night. The UK prime minister said that he and his wife planned to visit some of their favourite restaurants in the city that they used to frequent. 

Sunak and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit and discussed ways to deepen trade linkages and boost investment. He also said that he has “enormous respect” for PM Modi. 

The two leaders had met each other at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima in May. The British prime minister spent almost one hour at the temple as he performed 'darshan and puja' there.

The 43-year-old leader of the Conservative Party is married to Akshata Murty, the daughter of India's billionaire tech czar Narayana Murthy and philanthropist and educator Sudha Murty. 

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