Sri Lankan Prime Minister arrives in Tirumala to worship

TIRUPATI: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Tirumala, the famous hilltop of Lord Venkateswara, near here on Monday.

A devotee of the old temple , Rajapaksa, now in a five-day state to India at the invitation of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi since Friday, I flew to the Renigunta airport, 20 km from here, late Monday afternoon.

On his first spiritual visit as prime minister at the airport, Rajapaksa was granted a traditional reception and later, in the midst of strict security coverage, he reached the sacred hills by road.

After an overnight stay on the hills, Rajapaksa would visit the shrine in wee hours of Tuesday and offer worship to the presiding deity of Lord Venkateswara, a temple official told PTI

A 19-member Lankan delegation, including two ministers A Thondaman and KN Devananda, was with the Prime Minister of the neighboring island nation during his spiritual visit to the hills, the official said.

After offering prayers to Lord Venkateswara here, Rajapaksa would leave for Colombo, he added.