KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Dakshineshwar temple on Sunday and offered prayers.
Modi, who is on his first visit to West Bengal after taking over as Prime Minister, was accompanied by Governor KN Tripathi and Union Minister Babul Supriyo among others. He also visited the room where Sri Ramakrishna used to stay.
Located on the eastern bank of river Hooghly, the temple is dedicated to 'Bhavatarini', an aspect of goddess Kali. The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni, a philanthropist and a devotee of Kali in 1855.
From Dakshineshwar, PM Modi went to Belur Math, the global headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission. Elaborate security arrangements were made for the Prime Minister's visit.
On Saturday, Modi called on the ailing Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission president Swami Atmasthananda at Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratisthan hospital in Kolkata and received the monk's blessings.
Swami Atmasthananda is undergoing treatment at the hospital since February 21.
Their camaraderie go back to the early days of Modi when he wanted to enlist in RKM as a volunteer but Atmasthananda, who then was posted in Gujarat, suggested Modi to look for an alternative career.
In his youth, Modi had wanted to be a monk of the order founded by Ramakrishna Paramhamsa but was turned away thrice.
During those days, Modi used to regularly meet Athmasthanandaji Maharaj, then deputed to the mission's Rajkot centre, but the monk told him that his calling lay elsewhere.
In 2013, Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat, visited the RKM's global headquarters Belur Math and sought blessings from Athmasthananda.