Royal Tour

Charles and Camilla Garlanded in Flowers as They Touch Down In India For Nine Day Trip

Chris Jackson

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles have arrived in the Northern Indian state of Uttarakhand on the first day of a marathon nine-day tour of the country.

In June this year, the state, which borders Nepal, was devastated by heavy rains that caused over 5,000 deaths.

Their first stop was a Hindu temple at the Parmartha Niketan Ashram where they participated in an ‘Aarti’ ceremony, in which wicks soaked in camphor or ghee are lit in tribute to deities.

Over 600 police personnel have been deployed around places which form part of the royal couple's itinerary, officials said.

The royal couple arrived in a special plane at the Jollygrant airport at 4:15 PM local time and left immediately for Rishikesh where they took part in "Ganga Aarti" at Parmartha Niketan Ashram.

They will spend tonight in a hotel in Narendranagar and attend a slew of programs tomorrow in Dehradun to be hosted by the Indian Military Academy, the Forest Research Institute and the Doon School.

The royal couple will return in the evening to the Narendranagar hotel where Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna will host a dinner in their honour.

The nine-day India visit of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall which begins tomorrow from disaster-hit Uttarakhand is their most extensive trip to the country as a married couple.