His Majesty The King travelled to New Delhi yesterday to attend the State Funeral of the former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away on August 16 was accorded a State Funeral in New Delhi.

A prayer ceremony including a thousand butter lamps was offered yesterday morning at the Kuenrey of the Tashichhodzong for the late Prime Minister, a joint press release from the Royal Office for Media and Ministry of Foreign Affairs states.

His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, Their Majesties the Queen Mothers and members of the Royal Family graced the solemn ceremony. The Chief Advisor of the Interim Government, Chairman of the Privy Council, and senior government officials also attended the prayer ceremony. The national flag was flown at half-mast across the country as a mark of respect to the former Prime Minister.

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Bhutan as the Foreign Minister of India in 1977. He is fondly remembered in Bhutan for his tremendous goodwill towards the people and the leadership of Bhutan.

He provided unstinted support to the realisation of Bhutan’s national objectives and contributed immensely in strengthening Indo-Bhutan relations and cooperation, the press release states. He referred to Indo-Bhutan relations as an “example of effective South-South cooperation, and a model worthy of emulation.”

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a visionary leader and statesman, an inspirational poet, and a good human being. He devoted his life to the service of his nation and contributed to regional and international cooperation and understanding. He was not only loved by the people of India, but enjoyed the respect of the international community.

The Royal Government and people of Bhutan stand in solidarity with the people of India at this hour of grief.

Staff Reporter