‘Atithi Devo Bhava’: Modi uses diplomacy to project ancient towns as tourism hubs

Wuhan to Chennai: Different Venue, Same Terrain in India-China Dialogue

Mamallapuram (Tamil Nadu): What’s common between Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram – as the temple city was known – or Ahmedabad and Varanasi ? If this question is asked by someone playing the quiz games in times to come, the answer should be all three have been projected globally in a unique manner by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the ancient India’s cherished salutation ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’. Of course, the ancient seaside town of Mahabalipuram in southern state of Tamil Nadu will be receiving all the attention globally for next two days when Mr Modi hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at the UNESCO world heritage site for the second Informal Summit. Earlier, the Prime Minister has hosted foreign dignitaries in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Noida besides Ahmedabad and of course his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi. When it came to making arrangements for the visit of Chinese President, the officials were given a ‘clear guidance’ that they have to look for a centre outside national capital to host the second bilateral Informal Summit. Mahabalipuram is a World Heritage Site listed in 1984 and thus it was shortlisted and later zeroed down. “….It was very evident to PM Modi during the first Informal Summit last year at Wuhan in China that Chinese President takes keen interest in history,” a source said in Delhi. “Moreover, Prime Minister Modi has been generally in favour of taking foreign dignitaries outside capital to showcase other parts of India,” the source said adding it was very much in this context that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was taken to Bengaluru, French President Emmanuel Macron to Varanasi and President Xi Jinping was earlier taken to Ahmedabad.

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