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A date with diplomacy, music, archery and history

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  18 May 2015 12:00 AM GMT

ULAN BATOR, May 17: A shot at archery, strumming a fiddle, getting the beats right with a percussion instrument, getting a handsome brown horse as gift, and not to forget the selfies!

Prime Minister rendra Modi’s visit to Mongolia was replete with such interesting sidelights as he built up a rapport with the leadership of the strategic northeast Asian tion in the first visit by an Indian prime minister.

Modi expertly shot off an arrow at the Mini adam games festival, at the Chingisiin Khuree Camp, 25 km from capital Ulan Bator.

Attired in a light blue-grey traditiol robe-like dress with a white bowler hat to match, with the temperature hovering near 5 degrees Celsius and a bitingly cold wind blowing, Modi was seen thoroughly enjoying the games - that included archery, traditiol wrestling, and horse riding.

With an appreciative Mongolian Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg standing next to him, Modi gamely offered to shoot an arrow, and did so confidently.

Saikhanbileg and tiol Security Advisor Ajit Doval applauded smilingly. Saikhanbileg also tried his hand at shooting arrows.

Walking around the venue, where musicians were playing traditiol instruments, Modi tried his hand at playing the Yoochin, a Mongolian board zither where strings are struck with two wooden sticks.

As musicians strummed a tune on the morin khuur, a traditiol fiddle, Modi kept up the beat.

Earlier, Modi was presented a morin khuur by President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.

Modi exhibited some knowledge of playing a fiddle, as he stroked the strings with the bow confidently, coaxing some notes out of the two-stringed fiddle. “Striking a new chord in the relationship with Mongolia. @rendramodi tries 2 understand intricacies of morin khuur,” exterl affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

The morin khuur, which is adorned with a carved horse head, is considered a symbol of the Mongolian tion.

The strings and bow are made of horsehair.

Talking of horses, Modi was gifted a handsome brown horse, Kanthaka, by Prime Minister Saikhanbileg at the adam festival. Kanthaka was the me of the favourite horse of Prince Siddhartha, who later became Gautama Buddha.

Modi had earlier in the morning visited the Gandan Mostery where he presented a Bodhi sapling to the chief abbot and also offered prayers.

More than half of the Mongolian people follow Buddhism.

And no visit of Modi is complete without selfies. Modi took selfies with President Elbegdorj who retweeted a selfie.

During the State dinner, Prime Minister Saikhanbileg was attired in a bandgala - sportingly returning the gesture of Modi wearing a Mongolian costume at the adam games. IANS

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