Rahul Gandhi, who is visiting poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, offered prayers at Pitambara Peeth in Datia this morning. Photographs of the Congress president dressed in a white kurta with a saffron dhoti (wrap), folded hands and sitting cross-legged on the floor have flooded social media.
Mr Gandhi, who was accompanied by senior Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath, stayed at the temple, one of the 51 Shakti Peeths, for about half an hour before heading for a rally in Datia.
Several political leaders have visited the shrine in the past, state Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said.
"Indira Gandhi visited the shrine in 1979, before polls in 1980 and later after becoming the prime minister. Later, Rajiv Gandhi also offered prayers here after becoming PM in 1984-85," he said.
Mr Chaturvedi said when former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had fallen sick, senior Congress leader Kamlapati Tripathi had organised a special puja for his recovery at the shaktipeeth.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia is the chairperson of the Pitambara Trust that runs the shrine.
Roadshows in four different cities, several meetings and a visit to Scindia memorial in Gwalior are part of Mr Gandhi's two-day visit to the state.
Last month, Mr Gandhi started his party's campaign for November 28 elections with roadshow amid chanting of mantras and kanya pujan in Bhopal. During his visit to Chitrakoot, Mr Gandhi sought blessings at Kamtanath temple. He also performed aarti on the banks of Narmada in Jabalpur earlier this month.
The Congress chief will visit the Indore-Ujjain region on October 25-26 where he will offer prayers at the Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingams of Lord Shiva.
A devotee of Lord Shiva, Rahul Gandhi has visited dozens of temples in the last one year. He went on a 12-day pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in August-end.
His temple visits in poll-bound states have often irked the ruling BJP which calls them as an attempt to draw Hindu voters. The Congress has always dismissed such allegations saying the BJP does not have the "patent on devotion".