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Dressed in traditional attire, PM gives Xi temple tour of Mamallapuram

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Mamallapuram, Oct 11: Attired in Tamil traditional 'veshti' an angavastram and a mel thundu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached Mamallapuram ahead of Xi by a chopper, received the Chinese leader at Arjuna's penance monument.

 PM gives Xi temple tour of Mamallapuram

The Prime Minister was seen explaining to the Chinese president the significance of the historical monuments at Arjuna's penance, a seventh century marvel that stands at a height of 73 feet.

PM Modi took President Xi on a tour of ancient rock monuments, Arjuna's Penance, Panch Rathas and the Shore Temple.

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Arjuna's penance can be traced back to two conflicting legends; one that says that it was named after Arjuna, the Pandava who went through many a hardship to procure Lord Shiva's weapon and lay waste to his enemies and another that states that King Bhagiratha performed penance to bring the river Ganga down from heaven to earth in order to purify the souls of his ancestors.

After touring the Panch Rathas, the two leaders took a break, sipping coconut water with a view of the splendid rock temple.

Earlier in the day, Chinese President Xi Jinping was treated to Tamil cultural performances by folk dancers and Bharatanatyam artistes while scores of children greeted him by waving Indian and Chinese flags as he arrived here and later drove to seaside resort town of Mamallapuram.

About 500 Tamil folk artistes rendered performances including "tappattam," and "poi kal kuthirai" while a group of colourfully dressed women presented a Bharatanatyam programme to the accompaniment of 'thavil' and 'nadaswaram' (traditional percussion and wind instruments respectively) music.

A smiling Xi waved at the artistes as he paused briefly before moving on slowly. Temple priests with traditional honours greeted him before he boarded his car.

As he exited through the VVIP Gate No. 5, the Chinese leader was greeted by school children, lined up on the sides of the road, who waved Chinese and Indian flags.

From the airport, Xi arrived at the ITC Grand Chola Hotel in Guindy, his place of stay here, within a few minutes, covering the distance of about five kilometers.

After a brief stay at the hotel, the Chinese premier left for Mamallapuram, about 50 kilometer away by road around 4.05 pm and arrived at the seaside town at 5 pm.

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    In a number of locations along the East Coast Road, artistes rendered folk performances and played traditional music to welcome Xi. People, who waited on road sides in many locations, waved at the visiting Chinese leader with placards and flags of India and China welcoming him.

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