Mahinda offers prayers at famous hill shrine in India

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at nearby Tirumala in India

Rajapaksa, an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara, who had visited the temple several times in the past, flew in to India last evening and later reached the Tirumala hills by road, the Press Trust of India reported.

After an overnight stay at a TTD Guest House on the hills, Rajapaksa offered prayers to the presiding deity of Lord Venkateswara this morning and was in the temple for about 20 minutes, temples sources PTI.

The Sri Lankan leader had last visited the temple on December 10, 2014, a day after filing his nomination papers for the then presidential elections, seeking a third term. However, Rajapaksa had lost the elections.

Tight security was put in place on the hills for Rajapaksa’s visit, which comes amid a political crisis in Sri Lanka following the local council elections in which his party SLPP registered a landslide victory recently. (Colombo Gazette)