New Delhi: US President Barack Obama, who is known for his fascination with Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi, on Sunday visited Bapu's memorial at Rajghat to pay his tributes to the great man, calling him as a "rare gift to the world".
Obama, who arrived in India today on a crucial three-day trip to be the Chief Guest at Republic Day's Parade, went straight to Rajghat after his ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Paying his tributes to Mahatma at Rajghat, the US President bowed before Gandhi's memorial and laid a wreath before observing a moment of silence.
Obama then planted a Peepal sapling in Rajghat's garden and went on to sign the visitor's book in which he quoted US Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as he eulogised the Father of the Nation for his spirit of love and peace.
“What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said then remains true today - “The spirit of Gandhi is very much alive in India today. And it remains a great gift to the world. May we always live in his spirit of love and peace – among all people and nations, he wrote in the guest book.
This is President Obama's second visit to Rajghat. Obama had also visited Gandhi's memorial during his 2010 trip to India.
Here is what he wrote in Rajghat's visitor's book on Nov 8, 2010, “We will always remember the great soul who changed the world with his message of peace, tolerance of love. More than 60 years after his passing, his light continues to inspire the world”.
The US President has many times spoken about how he looks up to Mahatma Gandhi as a great inspirational figure.
Well known for his appreciation of Gandhi, Obama had also taken Bapu's name while receiving Nobel Peace Prize, when asked who would be his most favourite person, dead or alive, to have dinner with.