The Shore Temple at Mamallapuram in the lap of the Bay of Bengal, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted Chinese president Xi Jinping on Friday and Saturday for the informal summit, is one of the cultural icons of the ancient Tamil architecture. The visit is just weeks after Beijing supported India's rival Pakistan in raising the issue of New Delhi's recent actions in disputed Kashmir at the U.N. General Assembly meeting.
Mr. Modi gifted a hand-woven silk portrait to Mr. Xi. Mr. Xi’s face was intricately woven in gold on a red background with floral patterns on both sides of the portrait. The portrait was made by using pure mulberry silk and ‘zari’ or gold threads.
Mr. Modi personally chose Mamallapuram as the venue for this summit, according to a senior official of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
With the backdrop of this ancient heritage site, the Indian PM and Chinese President listened to south Indian music and watched a cultural performance at sunset on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China's President Xi Jinping during the delegation-level talks in Mamallapuram on the outskirts of Chennai on Saturday.
Mr. Modi told Mr. Xi that the group of monuments at Mamallapuram is an outstanding example of India’s cultural heritage and architecture, and witnessed India and China’s civilization exchanges and historical connections for more than a dozen centuries.
Mr. Modi tweeted: Refreshing walk and exercises in Mamallapuram, along the scenic coast. The PM also posted a video of him plogging the coast.
The Shore Temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. According to the UNESCO, “This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries.”
The PM tweeted, "Overlooking the Bay of Bengal is the majestic Shore Temple. One of the most iconic landmarks, the Shore Temple exemplifies the greatness and grandness of Indian culture."
The two leaders at Arjuna's Penance in Mamallapuram. The heritage site is situated on the outskirts of Chennai.
Mahabalipuram, a famous site of the Pallava era, has iconic structures that were visited by the two leaders, who had lunch together before winding up the summit.
School children in Chennai wore face masks on Friday to welcome Mr. Xi.
The city welcomed the Chinese President with banners, cultural performances and decorations. Magalir Kuzhukal danced at Madhya Kailash junction on Rajiv Gandhi Salai, OMR to welcome the Chinese President on Friday.