"We have married again", quipped Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he garlanded his wife Laureen with jasmine buds at the historic Someshwara temple this evening.
The couple entered the temple at Ulsoor barefoot. The temple priest Sundar Dixit explained to them the history of the temple, which has a mixture of Chola, Hoysala and Vijayanagar architecture. The Harpers were receieved at the temple gate by the minister for Muzrai Kota Srinivasa Poojari and Commissioner for Muzrai, Dayashankar. The visiting prime minister had a deep look at the Gopuram (the main entrance) and appeared to be fascinated by the architecture inside the temple. The Harpers stood in front of the Sree Kaamakshaamba and Sree Someshwara Swamy Uyyale Mantapa, which adorned the decorated idols of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. The priest chanted mantras and performed "Aarathi". The Harpers took the Aarathi and touched their eyes. The priest then put a shawl on the shoulders of the prime minister and garlanded him with flowers of the famous Mysore jasmine buds ("Mysooru Mallige Moggina Haara").
Later, he gave another shawl and a garland and asked him to do the same for his wife. Harper garlanded his wife who seemed excited and thrilled for having been garlanded with jasmine buds. Observing this, Harper quipped "we have married again! The priest blessed the couple by saying "Dheergayushmaan Bhavah" (Long Live). The couple took a round of the temple (Pradakshine). In the afternoon, Harper watched "The Arctic", a made-in-Canada 3D animated movie at Imax at Forum Mall at upmarket Koramangala. The Canadian couple also met Karnataka governor H R Bhardwaj. Harper is slated to visit Bishop Cotton School here tomorrow before emplaning for Manila.