Vice-President Hamid Ansari made a personal pilgrimage here on Friday, the penultimate day of his six-day tour of Turkey, offering prayers at the mosque of his ancestor Eyup Sultan, revered as a companion of Prophet Mohammed.

Accompanied by his wife Salma, Mr. Ansari arrived early for the first of his engagements for the day, and offered prayers after walking through its rain-swept courtyards and portions under renovation.

Ebu Eyyub El-Ansari, the official brochure says, is one of the distinguished disciples referred to as host of the Prophet and a fellow soldier of the Messenger of God because he had played host to Him in his home for six months during His migration to Medina.

Later, Mr. Ansari, along with the delegation which included Union Minister Mukul Wasnik and MPs Sitaram Yechury, Vijay Pal Singh and Ingrid McLeod, visited the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and the Hagia Sophia museum, which was previously a church, famous for its massive dome and considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture.

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