Everyone is going gaga over the choice of Mahabalipuram for the Modi-Xi Jinping meet. It’s connect with China, Pallava empire’s maritime links with China and the travel of Pallava prince Bodhidharma to China to spread Buddism are being talked about. But, do you know that Mahabalipuram was not the first choice of Modi government?
In fact, the first choice was Varanasi. But, Varanasi airport’s runway is too small for the plane of Chinese president Xi. So, the idea was abandoned. The second choice was Goa. But, Xi turned it down as he had already visited the city during the recent BRICS summit. Then Mahabalipuram was suggested. Its proximity to Chinese port and its historic connect with China have made Xi instantaneously okay the proposal.
It was then that Mahabalipuram was spruced up and readied up for the VIP visit. Whatever the case, Modi fully utilised the occasion to highlight Tamil culture and language, besides promoting his cleanliness campaign in a big way.
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