Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the UK for his three-day visit on Thursday (12 November). Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit the UK in nearly a decade, with the opening day of his visit already resulting in £9bn ($13.7bn) in trade deals between the two countries.
Following a joint press conference with his British counterpart David Cameron, Modi addressed MPs at UK Parliament as the first serving Indian prime minister to do so. Modi ended his action-filled day by spending the night at Cameron's 16<sup>th century countryside mansion Chequers in Buckinghamshire.
The two prime ministers are said to have enjoyed an "intimate dinner" after the long day of talks and speeches. Cameron's chefs prepared a simple and traditional Indian meal for Modi, consisting of dishes, such as mushroom pulao (rice) and tarka dal (lentils). Salad and mango pudding were also on the menu for the evening.
On Friday 13 November morning, the Indian prime minister gave David Cameron a hand-crafted pair of bookends made from wood, marble and silver. The centrepiece of the bookends consisted of silver bells, with a spokesperson for Modi saying that the bells were "an object of rich symbolism relating to inner wisdom and tidings". The bells are also said to have a verse from the Bhagavad Gita engraved in Sanskrit, with the English translation engraved inside the bell.
David Cameron's wife, Samantha Cameron, was also lucky enough to receive a present from the Indian prime minister. Modi gave the First Lady a handicraft metal mirror from the southern state of Kerala. She was also given pashmina stoles.
Prime Minister Modi was then due to have lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, before leaving to attend his welcome reception at Wembley Stadium. Nearly 60,000 people are expected to attend the event organised by the UK Welcomes Modi group, with a huge cultural show proceeding the prime minister's address to the Indian diaspora.
Narendra Modi's visit to the UK comes at a controversial time in his leadership. The prime minister's party recently suffered a setback after losing a crucial state election in Bihar, while others have been strongly condemning what they believe is growing intolerance in India under Modi. The former chief minister of Gujarat also faced protests on his first day in the UK, with hundreds of people gathering outside Downing Street claiming that Modi was not welcome in Britain.