Modi, Shinzo Abe to visit Sidi Saiyyed mosque in Gujarat, have dinner at House of Mangaldas Girdhardas

Modi, Shinzo Abe to visit Sidi Saiyyed mosque in GujaratWomen walk past a billboard featuring Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ahead of his visit to Ahmedabad.(REUTERS)
Modi, Shinzo Abe to visit Sidi Saiyyed mosque in Gujarat, have dinner at House of Mangaldas Girdhardas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe to an exclusive dinner at the House of Mangaldas Girdhardas, a boutique heritage hotel in Ahmedabad, after taking them around the 16th century Sidi Saiyyed mosque across the road.

Built in 1924 in Ahmedabad, the House of MG, as it is popularly known, was once the home of a wealthy textile businessman, and has been turned into a boutique heritage hotel. The stately property has been restored to retain its old-world charm while providing all modern amenities.

Senior officials said Prime Minister Modi went into the details of each event planned in his home city. The vegetarian dinner will be attended by just the three people.

Abe, who is arriving in Ahmedabad on Wednesday for the annual India-Japan summit, will be returning to Tokyo on Thursday.

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The city has been decked up, with flags of two countries and huge cut-outs of Modi and Abe put up at many places leading to the hotel.

However, a 16th century heritage mosque across the road from the House of Mangaldas Girdhardas is getting unprecedented attention.

Modi will be taking Abe for a tour around the Sidi Saiyyed mosque, popularly known as Sidi Saiyyid ki Jaali, which was built in 1573.

The mosque is entirely arcuated and is famous for beautifully carved ten-stone latticework windows (jalis) on the side and rear arches.

Late on Tuesday night, visitors were thronging the mosque, as TV new crews gathered in large numbers.

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Rizwan Kadri, chairman of the Sunni Waqf Committee that administers the mosque, hoped Prime Minister Modi “would explain the history and the importance of the Sidi Saiyyed mosque to PM Shinzo Abe himself”.

Officials said the Prime Minister’s Office had sought details about the iconic mosque and details of its architecture.

Ahmedabad municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar said only UNESCO director general Irina Bokova, who came to hand over the World Heritage City certificate had visited the city.

“There have been no high-level officials visiting the site in the recent past,” he said.

Amrita, a banker who took a picture of the mosque in evening light, said this mosque has been “a historic symbol of the city and it is getting a lot of attention now because of the Japanese PM’s visit” ._ HT

THE VOICE TIMES

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