Sri Lankan PM arrives at Tirumala for worship

(EDS: Correcting time factor in para-II) Tirupati, Feb 10 (PTI): Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at Tirumala, the famous hill abode of Lord Venkateswara, near here, on Monday.

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

On his maiden spiritual visit as Prime Minister at the airport, Rajapaksa was accorded a traditional reception and later, amid tight security cover, 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 neighbouring 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. PTI COR NVG NVG NVG NVG