Johannesburg: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspected a model of the Swaminarayan Temple in Johannesburg, South Africa, the construction of which will be completed by 2025.
The temple is built on a 14.5-acre size plot of land, housing a 34,000 square metre cultural centre, 3000 seater auditorium, 2000 seater banquet hall, a research institute, classrooms, exhibition and recreational centres, among others.
The under-construction temple, once completed by 2025 will be the largest Hindu temple in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday morning embarked on a four-day visit to South Africa and Greece.
In South Africa, PM Modi will attend the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg from August 22-24 at the invitation of the country’s president Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.
Upon his arrival in Johannesburg, he was warmly welcomed by Deputy President of South Africa, Paul Shipokosa Mashatile, at the airport. A ceremonial welcome was also accorded to Prime Minister Modi.
Following that, the South African dancers received Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a traditional dance performance. After receiving a grand welcome, PM Modi walked towards the members of the Indian diaspora who converged to welcome him.
He also received a rousing welcome from the Indian diaspora chanting 'Vande Mataram' as he arrived at Sandton Sun Hotel here on Tuesday. Members of the Indian community were waiting for PM Modi's arrival to welcome him with 'dhols' outside Sandton Sun Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This will be the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
BRICS is a grouping of the world economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
PM Modi said that BRICS has been actively engaged in fostering a robust collaboration agenda across diverse sectors, and serves as a platform to deliberate upon issues of significance for the entire Global South.
PM Modi said that he looks forward to holding bilateral meetings with "some of the leaders present in Johannesburg".
"BRICS has been pursuing a strong cooperation agenda across various sectors. We value that BRICS has become a platform for discussing and deliberating on issues of concern for the entire Global South, including development imperatives and reform of the multilateral system,” the PM said in a statement before the departure.
This will be PM Modi's third visit to South Africa and the trip marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between India and South Africa.
This year's BRICS is under the presidency of South Africa. The theme of this year's summit is: "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for mutually accelerated growth, sustainable development and inclusive multilateralism."