Jakarta, May 30 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited the Arjuna Wijaya Chariot statue, one of the iconic monuments in the heart of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, during his first official visit to the key East Asian country. Also Read - 34 Killed, Hundreds Injured After Earthquake of 6.2 Magnitude Rocks Indonesia's Sulawesi Islands

Prime Minister Modi was accompanied by Indonesia President Joko Widodo during his visit to the ‘Arjuna Wijaya Chariot’ (chariot of the victorious Arjuna) statue. Also Read - Indonesia Plane Crash: Body Parts Found Off Jakarta Coast, Say Investigators

“A manifestation of our age-old cultural ties! PM @narendramodi and Indonesian President @jokowi at Arjuna Wijaya Chariot statue in the heart of the city,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted with a picture of the two leaders shaking hands. Also Read - Indonesia's Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 Loses Contact Minutes After Takeoff From Jakarta

The imposing monument depicts a scene from the Indian epic Mahabharata where Lord Krishna is riding a chariot with Arjuna holding a bow and arrow and the chariot is being pulled by eight golloping horses.

The horses as per Javenese tradition symbolise eight philosophies of leadership called Asta Brata, namely, Kisma (Earth), Surya (Sun), Agni (fire), Kartika (stars), Baruna (ocean), Samirana (wind), Tirta (rain) and Candra (month).

Built in 1987, the statue, standing just next to Monas which is the National Monument of Indonesia, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Jakarta, especially among visitors coming from India.

It is a testimony to the deep civilisational link with India and cultural reach and influence of Mahabharata in Indonesia.

Modi arrived in the Indonesian capital Jakarta yesterday on the first leg of his three-nation tour to East Asia during which he will also travel to Malaysia and Singapore to further boost India’s Act East Policy.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.