As Chinese president Xi Jinping arrived in Mamallapuram on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed him, while dressed in traditional South Indian attire - Veshti paired with a white shirt and an 'Angavastram'. The leaders started their informal talks at the Pancha Rathas while sipping coconut water, that was offered to the Chinese premier by Prime Minister Modi. Notably, in their first informal summit at Wuhan, the two leaders had tea after a walk along East Lake in Wuhan. Earlier, when the Prime Minister hosted the Chinese president in 2014 at the Sabarmati riverfront of Gujarat, they had lavish authentic Gujarati dinner.
Earlier, as Xi reached Chennai, the Prime Minister took to Twitter to welcome him. He wrote: Welcome to India, President Xi Jinping!' As both leaders met on Friday, they shook hands and walked inside the Arjuna's Penance, the first site of visit in Mahabalipuram during their second informal summit.
As per sources, Xi Jinping will be given a ‘Taste of India’ with a special focus on South Indian delicacies in his dinner on Friday. At a special dinner hosted by PM Modi in honour of the Chinese President in Mamallapuram in the evening, the choicest of Indian culinary delights are going to be put on display. Sources have added that special focus of the dinner for evening is placed on showcasing the diverse cuisines of South India. From Kadalai Kuruma and Kavanarasi Halwa to Thakkali Rasam and Arachavitta Sambar, the menu on offer is going to reflect the enormous diversity of south Indian culinary traditions. Regional cuisines like Chettinad and Karaikudi will also be put on display at the visiting dignitary’s dinner table on Friday evening.
The old seaport town in Kanchipuram, also known as Mahabalipuram, is the site for the visit of Chinese premier and Prime Minister Modi. The old seaport is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has a rich history. The seaport served as a gateway for import and export of goods to and fro South India and China back in the 7th century. From the informal meet between the two Asian leaders, both countries hope to explore the historical and cultural connection between Mamallapuram and China. Mamallapuram, the city of Mamalla, is named after the Pallava ruler Narasimhavarman-I. Kanchipuram was the capital of the Pallavas around the sixth century and Mamallapuram, a major seaport, was used to establish trade links with South-East Asian countries, including China.
PM Modi reached Chennai on Friday around 12.30, after which he flew to Mahabalipuram helipad. Around 2, Chinese premier Xi Jinping reached Chennai. The summit between the Asian giants will begin at 5 in the evening. PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled for a guided tour to three of the monuments at Mahabalipuram. Next, both the leaders will be attending a cultural program at Shore Temple at 6 in the evening. The two leaders will then have a private dinner.