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President’s gift to Telangana: Rashtrapati Nilayam open to public

From tomorrow onwards, the public will be able to visit the heritage structure where the President stays during her annual visit to the Southern state, all round the year.

Statesman News Service | Hyderabad |

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On the occasion of Ugadi, the Telugu New Year, President Draupadi Murmu had a unique gift for the people of Telangana as she threw open the gates of her Southern Retreat – the Rashtrapati Nilayam to the general public.

From tomorrow onwards, the public will be able to visit the heritage structure where the President stays during her annual visit to the Southern state, all round the year.

Earlier, the Rashtrapati Nilayam was accessible to the public only for a few days of a year and restricted to the various gardens around the Nizam era structure. But after the President graced the opening of the Rashtrapati Nilayam to the public through video conferencing today, the people will now be able to visit the main building, the Presidential wing, the dining hall, the tunnel connecting the hall with the kitchen and the stables now converted into Knowledge Gallery where the visitors can learn about the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Rashtrapati Nilayam, the roles and responsibilities of the President and the Constitution. The visitors will also enjoy taking selfies with the Buggy and the President’s Limousine at the same spot.

In her address, the President said it was during her brief stay at the Rashtrapati Nilayam for the customary Southern Sojourn last year that the idea of keeping it open to the public all round the year, came to her. She said the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Rashtrapati Retreats belong to every Indian.

“At a time when the country was proudly observing Azadi ka Mahotsav it is our endeavour that all citizens of this country, especially the younger generation should know about the freedom fighters and respect the values associated with the struggles for Independence,” said the President. The restored underground tunnel linking the dining hall with the kitchen displays Cheriyal paintings – the traditional art form of Telangana.

Other major attractions in the premises include the Jai Hind Step well and the Jai Hind Ramp and Flag post replica. While the restored step well is a reminder to the traditional way of water conservation efforts in this part of the country the flag post replica will replace the original pole which had formed the backdrop when the last Nizam Osman Ali Khan signed the Instrument of Accession in September 1948 to merge the State of Hyderabad with the Union of India.

The iconic bungalow was built in 1860 by the Nizam IV on 90 acres of land as the residence of his military chief in cantonment area but later after the establishment of British cantonment it became the residence of the British Resident and was called the Residency before it finally passed on to the Government of India after the merger. This colonial symbol will now be open to the public every day except Monday and public holidays and slots can be booked through Rashtrapati Bhavan website or walk-ins at the reception of Rashtrapati Nilayam for Rs50.

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