President Patil to pray at Kerala temple

April 30th, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Thiruvananthapuram, April 30 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil arrived here Wednesday on a two-day visit during which she will participate in Kerala assembly’s golden jubilee celebrations and offer prayers at the famed Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple. Sasidharan Nair, executive officer of the temple, told IANS that the president will be at the temple between 8.15 a.m and 9 a.m. Thursday.

“During that time the temple will remain closed to other devotees. The police have already conducted a security check,” said Nair.

The main building of the centuries-old temple is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. The temple, known for mural paintings and stone carvings, is one among the 108 temples dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu in India. Magnificent carvings of gods, goddesses, nymphs and demons adorn the seven-storied ‘gopuram’, the temple’s tower.

On arrival Wednesday, Patil was received at the airport by state Governor R.L. Bhatia, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, leader of the opposition in the assembly Oommen Chandy, cabinet ministers and top officials.

In the evening, she will take part in the valedictory function of the assembly’s golden jubilee celebrations and Thursday, besides visiting the temple, she will participate in the birth centenary celebrations of former chief minister R. Shankar.

This is Patil’s second visit to the state after taking over as president.

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