Modi is known to be a religious person who wears Hinduism on his sleeves. He is an ardent follower of Lord Shiva.
As the prime minister, he has visited several religious shrines in India and abroad in the recent past. The shrines are dedicated not just to Lord Shiva but also to Lord Vishnu, Swaminarayan sect, Sikh gurus besides others.
Shri Siddhaganga Mutt in Tumkuru, Karnataka
PM Modi visited the Shri Siddhaganga Mutt in Tumkuru, Karnataka on January 2 to lay the foundation stone for a memorial museum of Shri Shri Shivakumar Swamiji. That was his first visit to a religious place this year. He said he was fortunate enough to start the year from such a pious land.
He said, “We all feel the physical absence of Pujya Swami Shri Sri Shivkumar ji. I have personally experienced that his mere gaze was enriching and inspiring. With his inspiring personality this holy place has been giving direction to the society for decades”.
“The aspiration is for a new India. This aspiration is of young dreams. This is the aspiration of the sisters and daughters of the country. This aspiration is for the poor, downtrodden, deprived, afflicted, backward, tribals of the country… This aspiration is to see India as a prosperous, capable and all-encompassing world power. It has now become the psyche of every Indian that the problems we have inherited have to be solved. This message emanating from the society also inspires, encourages our government,” he added.
Gurdwara Sri Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi, Punjab
On November 9, 2019, the prime minister paid obeisance at Gurdwara Sri Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi before inaugurating the passenger terminal building of the Kartarpur Corridor. He was received at the gurdwara by former Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Jagir Kaur, in charge of celebrations related to the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev. On SGPC’s behalf, Kaur presented a ‘siropa’ (robe of honour) to the PM who spent nearly 20 minutes at the Gurdwara and listened to the ‘kirtan’.
Lord Venkateswara shrine, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
On June 9, 2019, Prime Minister Modi offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala. He was accorded a grand and traditional welcome upon his arrival at the ancient temple with priests chanting Vedic hymns and escorting him to the sanctum sanctorum. Clad in a traditional attire, Modi visited the shrine for the third time after becoming the PM. His previous visits to the temple was in October 2015 and January 2017. He had also paid a visit to the shrine in May 2014 as the BJP’s PM candidate.
Feeling extremely blessed after praying at the Sri Vekateswara Swamy Temple in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. https://t.co/rJc4IqUIw1
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1560093026000
Varanasi, Kedarnath and Badrinath
During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Modi took part in religious worship for four times in a span of about a month.
He filed his nomination from Varanasi on April 26. On the previous day, he took out a massive roadshow in his constituency. He witnessed ‘Ganga Aarti’ at Dashashwamedh Ghat along with home minister and the then BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and other party leaders after the roadshow came to an end. Before reaching Varanasi, Modi had tweeted: “After bumper rallies in Darbhanga and Banda, I am heading to beloved Kashi… There are a series of programmes lined up, which would give me another excellent opportunity to interact with my sisters and brothers of Kashi. Har Har Mahadev!”
On May 18, Modi reached Kedarnath in Uttarakhand and worshipped in the famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Subsequently, he went inside a cave and spent the night inside it. It was his fourth visit in two years to the temple.
On May 19, the day of the seventh and last phase of the elections, the prime minister reached Badrinath and paid obeisance at the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
And finally, on the May 27 morning, he was back in Varanasi, to worship at the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath accompanied him inside the sanctum sanctorum.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
On January 15, 2019, PM Modi offered prayers at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. He also unveiled a plaque to mark the inauguration of Swadesh Darshan Scheme and offered prayers in the temple.
His visit to the temple followed the inauguration of Kollam Bypass earlier in the day.
Prayed for the development of India and the peace and happiness of 130 crore Indians at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Te… https://t.co/Lgk8sOEF7T
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1547566404000
Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Accompanied by Amit Shah, Modi visited the Somnath Temple in Gujarat on March 8, 2017 and offered prayers. Modi is one of the trustees of the Somnath Temple Trust. He performed ‘Jalabhishek’ to offer his respects to Lord Shiva amid chants by the temple priests.
He also paid tributes at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue.
जय सोमनाथ! https://t.co/bjPqLLNjx8
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1488952181000
Patna Sahib, Bihar
On January 5, 2017, PM Modi was in Patna Sahib to attend the concluding function of 350th ‘Prakash Parva’ of 10th Sikh guru, Guru Govind Singh.
There he heaped praises on Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for launching a movement against liquor. He also appealed to all to make prohibition a grand success.
He said, “I greet Nitish Kumar from the core of my heart for launching a campaign against liquor… But, this work (prohibition) would not be a grand success only by the efforts of Nitish Kumar or one party. All the political parties, social organisations and citizens have to participate in it to make it a ‘jan-jan ka andolan’ (peoples movement).”
Felt very blessed to join the #350thPrakashParv of Guru Gobind Singh ji in Patna. https://t.co/v77HHtaaVR
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1483623363000
Ganga ‘aarti’, Dashashwamedh Ghat, Varanasi
On December 12, 2015, Narendra Modi took his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to witness the Ganga aarti at sunset at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. The two leaders spent about 45 minutes at the ghat watching the Ganga aarti
Later speaking at a joint media interaction, Abe said, “Our remarkable relationship also has a wonderful human touch. The Kyoto-Varanasi partnership is one of its strong symbols.”
Celebrating an eternal friendship in an eternal city, the 2 PM’s witness the Ganga aarti https://t.co/NukLajpsfp
— Anurag Srivastava (@MEAIndia) 1449925712000
As prime minister, Modi has visited religious shrines not just in India but also abroad.
Lord Sri Krishna temple in Manama, Bahrain
On August 25, 2019, he launched the $4.2 million redevelopment project of the 200-year-old Lord Sri Krishna temple in Manama, Bahrain and remarked that it was a reflection of the strong ties between the two countries.
Modi, who is the first Indian prime minister to visit the key Gulf nation, worshipped at the Shreenathji Temple in Manama, which is the oldest temple in the region.
He tweeted: “Spent time at Bahrain’s Shreenathji Temple. This is among the oldest temples in the region and manifests the strong ties between India and Bahrain.”
Spent time at Bahrain’s Shreenathji Temple. This is among the oldest temples in the region and manifests the strong… https://t.co/jiQJtHHuUx
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1566713763000
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Prime Minister Modi officially launched the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. There are about three million people of Indian origin. That was his second visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after 2015.
Modi was witness to the groundbreaking ceremony which was live-streamed to the Dubai Opera House where he was interacting with the Indian diaspora. He thanked Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on behalf of all the Indians for the construction of the grand temple.
He said, “I believe this temple will not only be unique in terms of architecture and splendour, but will also give a message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ to people across the world.”