The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has started his first overseas trip to India after the successful completion of the Olympics.
After landing early in the morning in Delhi his first port of call was a visit to Akshardham temple, sister temple to Swaminarayan temple in Neasden, north west London.
At the temple he was given a traditional welcome by priests who offered him a tika (vermillion powder) on his forehead and tied the sacred thread and placed a sanctified garland of flowers around his neck in a gesture of peace and friendship.
Mr Johnson offered prayers for world peace and harmony by offering ‘abhishek’, the ceremonial pouring of sanctified water from 151 holy rivers, lakes and ponds across India, on the sacred image of Shri Neelkanth Varni.
His next stop was Delhi’s iconic India Gate made to pay homage to the British soldiers who were killed in the First World War but he didn’t go up to pay homage but just posed for pictures and returned after going halfway.
But his trip to India Gate must be memorable for him as he got surrounded by local Indian vendors who tried to sell their stuff to him and Boris kept refusing and finally got a little perturbed.
Boris, who is here in India to sell London as a tourist and investment destination, seemed unruffled and continued giving interviews to the accompanying British media team.
His trouble didn’t end with local vendors but dozens of strangers surrounded him without actually knowing his identity and many thought he was the King of England and went to ask for an autograph and even got pictures taken with him.
The Mayor is going to have a series of meetings in Delhi, Hyderabad and then he is heading to Mumbai to meet Bollywood and invite them to shoot films in London.