Stephen and Laureen Harper at the historic Someshwara Temple

The historic Sri Someshwara Temple in Ulsoor, with its amalgam of Hoysala, Chola and Vijyanagar temple architecture, captivated Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife on Thursday here.

On a two-day official state visit, Mr. Harper, who arrived here Thursday morning, visited the famous temple along with his wife Laureen. The priest, Sundar Dixit, explained the shrine’s history and the Prime Minister spent some time admiring the gopuram and the Sri Kamakshaamba and Sri Someshwara Swamy Uyyale Manatapa where the decorated idols of Shiva and Parvathi had been placed.

The couple respectfully responded when the priest chanted mantras and performed the arati .

The North American country’s first couple was received by Muzrai Minister Kota Srinivasa Poojari and Muzrai Commissioner Dayashankar at the temple gates, a press release said.

Earlier, Mr. Harper’s entourage arrived here at the Bengaluru International Airport in a Royal Canadian Air Force special aircraft, and was received by Labour and Sericulture Minister B.N. Bache Gowda. Also present at the airport were the Director General and Inspector General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachau and Additional Secretary B.V. Kulkarni.

The visiting Prime Minister participated at the lunch hosted by Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj at the Raj Bhavan. He also watched a Canadian children’s movie at a mall in Koramangala. On Friday, he will visit Bishop Cotton School before leaving for the Philippines capital Manila.