South Korean President Moon Jae-in Starts Trip to India with Visit to Swaminarayan Akshardham, New Delhi

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His Excellency Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, started his first-ever state trip to India with a visit to Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi.

President Moon and South Korean First Lady, Mrs. Kim Jung-sook, were able to experience the ageless beauty, borderless culture and timeless values of India at Akshardham.

On behalf of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the Spiritual Head of Swaminarayan Akshardham and the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, senior sadhus and trustees traditionally welcomed President Moon and delegation by offering a garland of flowers, applying tilaka (vermillion powder) and tying the kalava (sacred thread) on their wrists.

President Moon and First Lady Jung-sook offered their respects at the Swaminarayan Akshardham Mandir and admired the Mandir’s art and architecture.

President Moon then viewed the Gajendra Pithika (Elephant Plinth) that includes 148 lifelike carved stone elephants depicting messages of social harmony, peace, and spirituality.

President Moon and First Lady Kim shared sentiments 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 Shri Neelkanth Varni.

“I pray for the peace in Korea, India and the world in Akshardham,” President Moon wrote.

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

While traveling passed Akshardham on the Delhi Metro the following day, President Moon fondly reminisced with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his first visit in India at Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi.