Canadian Minister of International Trade Honourable François-Philippe Champagne and Canadian Minister of Transport Honourable Marc Garneau visited Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi to experience India’s ageless beauty, borderless culture and timeless values. Accompanying the ministers was a 12-member delegation from both Canadian International Trade Ministry and Canadian Transportation Ministry.
On behalf of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj – Spiritual Head of Swaminarayan Akshardham and BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha – senior sadhus traditionally welcomed Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Honourable Marc Garneau and delegation with a garland of flowers, tilaka (vermillion powder) and the tying of the sacred kalva (sacred thread).
After admiring the Mayur Dwar (Peacock Gate), Minister Champagne and Minister Garneau visited the Swaminarayan Akshardham Mandir where they witnessed the world’s ‘Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple’. They offered their respects and admired the Mandir’s art and architecture.
Both Canadian Ministers visited the Gajendra Pithika (Elephant Plinth) that includes 148 life-sized carved stone elephants depicting message of social harmony, peace and spirituality.
The Canadian delegation offered prayers for world peace and harmony by offering ‘abhishek’, the ceremonial pouring of sanctified water from 151 holy rivers, lakes and ponds across India on the sacred image of Sri Neelkanth Varni.
Thereafter, the delegation experienced the educational exhibition Sanskruti Vihar – a cultural voyage that sails through 10,000 years of India’s glorious heritage, highlighting India’s contributions to humanity through the ages.
Sharing his sentiments at Akshardham, Canadian Minister of International Trade Honourable François-Philippe Champagne wrote, “Thank you for taking the time to share the spiritual journey with us. It has been an unforgettable impact on us.”
Sharing his sentiments at Akshardham, Canadian Minister of Transport Honourable Marc Garneau wrote, “It has been a great honour to visit the Akshardham Temple. I feel enormously privileged. Thank you for sharing your time with us and speaking of the values that guide the followers – universal values we should all spire to practice in our daily lives.”