Watch: Narendra Modi dives to pray at ‘lost’ underwater temple

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi scuba-dived to a “lost” Hindu city to offer underwater prayers at the site of an ancient temple.

Dressed in traditional orange attire, Mr Modi was filmed diving into the waters off Panchkui beach, in his home state of Gujarat, on Sunday to reach the highly revered site of Dwarka.

The 73-year-old made an offering of a peacock feather wand to an underwater mound of remains before holding prayers.

The offering of light, flowers, water or food to divine entities is an essential ritual of Hinduism, known as Puja.

Hindus believe the kingdom of Dwarka, said to have been created by Lord Krishna, sank beneath the Arabian Sea upon his death. It is highly significant in Hindu mythology, and is one of the seven holy pilgrimage sites in India.

The Indian PM wore traditional orange attire for his dive in Dwarka in Gujarat, India
The Indian PM wore traditional orange attire for his dive in Dwarka in Gujarat, India - AP

Mr Modi, who was accompanied by navy divers, described his visit as a “divine experience”.

“I felt connected to an ancient era of spiritual grandeur and timeless devotion,” the prime minister said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The vision of Dwarka in the sea has further strengthened my resolve of a developed India,” Mr Modi added at a gathering later on Sunday.

Mr Modi is seeking a rare third term in India’s upcoming general election.

Critics of the prime minister, who heads the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), say religious polarisation has risen since he took office in 2014 and that Muslims, who make up 14 per cent of the country’s 1.4 billion population, have been routinely marginalised by his government.