Tirupati(AP), Feb 28 (PTI): Former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at nearby Tirumala. Also Read - Govt Permits Pakistan PM Imran Khan to Use Indian Airspace For His Maiden Visit To Sri Lanka

Rajapaksa, an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara, who had visited the temple several times in the past, flew in here last evening and later reached the Tirumala hills by road. Also Read - Coronavirus: Sri Lanka To Vaccinate 225 Parliamentarians From Tuesday

After an overnight stay at a TTD Guest House on the hills, Rajapaksa offered prayers to the presiding deity of Lord Venkateswara this morning and was in the temple for about 20 minutes, temples sources PTI. Also Read - Happy New Year 2021: 'May The Spirit of Hope & Wellness Prevail', PM Modi Extends Greetings

The Sri Lankan leader had last visited the temple on December 10, 2014, a day after filing his nomination papers for the then presidential elections, seeking a third term.

However, Rajapaksa had lost the elections.

Tight security was put in place on the hills for Rajapaksa’s visit, which comes amid a political crisis in Sri Lanka following the local council elections in which his party SLPP registered a landslide victory recently.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.