Mangaluru, Oct 29, 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday offered prayers at the Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Temple as part of his visit to Karnataka to attend various public events.
Modi landed in Mangaluru, about 350km from the state capital, earlier on Sunday and flew in a helicopter to the temple town of Dharmasthala, about 100 km from the port city of Mangaluru. Union Ministers D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Ananth Kumar and state Minister U.T. Khader, Mangaluru Mayor Kavita Sanil greet Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Mangaluru airport.
At Dharmasthala, Mr. Modi was welcomed by Dharmadhikari D. Veerendra Heggade at the temple entrance. Inside the temple, he witnessed the rudrabhisheka seva done for the deity, according to the Dharmadhikari’s aide Veeru Shetty. He also had the darshan of other deities, Annappa, Ganapathi and Padmavathi.
The prime minister waved to the crowd, who chanted "Modi, Modi", as he stood at the entrance, before proceeding to offer prayers at the temple.
He was accorded a traditional welcome at the temple, where Dharmadhikari (hereditary administrator) D Veerendra Heggade took him around.
"I am happy that I got the opportunity to pray to Lord Manjunatha," Modi was quoted as saying in a tweet by the prime minister’s office.
On account of the Prime Minister’s visit, the temple administration has restricted public entry up to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The Dharmasthala temple is one of the renowned religious landmarks of south India, with a history of over 800 years.