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Modi-Xi Jinping soak in cultural extravaganza as second informal summit gets underway in Mamallapuram

PM Modi welcomes President Xi Jinping at Arjuna's Penance in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India Oct 11, 2019, 08.48 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

The second India-China informal summit began in the coastal town of Mamallapuram on Friday with PM Modi providing a guided tour of housands of year old UNESCO world heritage sites of Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna's Butterball, Panch Rathas and Shore Temple to Chinese President Xi Jinping

This was followed by a cultural extravaganza that lasted for two hours.

Modi received President Xi at the Arjuna's Penance in traditional south Indian attire--veshti and angavastram, a south Indian garment draped over the shoulder. Both leaders were seen immersed in a friendly chat with PM Modi explaining to Xi the historical importance of the sites. The duo shook hands five times during the entire period and drank coconut water at the Panch Ratha site were they sat for 15 minutes. 

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Modi gifted President Xi a Nachiarkoil lamp -- a branched Annam lamp and Thanjavur painting of dancing Saraswathi.  

Xi also met eight top Indian officials including External Affair minister S Jaishankar, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, Gopal Baglay, Joint Secretary, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and Indian envoy to China Vikram Misri at the shore temple.  

PM Modi also hosted a dinner for the visiting leader in the backdrop of historic Shore temple at the Mahabalipuram beach in which Tamil delicacies both non-vegetarian and vegetarian were on the menu. 

Modi and Xi will again meet on Friday morning before the delegation-level talks.