President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Friday arrived in Hyderabad on a four-day southern sojourn. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and other top officials received Kovind at the Air Force Station in Hakimpet.
Telangana's Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, Legislative Council Chairman Swami Goud, former Assembly Speaker Madhusudhana Chary, Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi, Director General of Police Mahender Reddy and top defence and police officials were among those who welcomed Kovind.
The President later reached Rashtrapati Nilayam in Secunderabad, where he will stay till December 24. He will visit Karimnagar on Saturday inaugurate the Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Anaemia, Thalassemia and other genetic blood disorders at Prathima Institute of Medical Sciences.
The President will host a reception for senior dignitaries of the state, ministers, officials, leading citizens and academics at Rashtrapati Nilayam on Sunday. He will return to New Delhi on Monday.
Authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the President's stay, with the sprawling Rashtrapati Nilayam being spruced up. This is the second southern sojourn of Kovind after he assumed the highest office. Last year too, he had spent four days at Rashtrapati Nilayam.
Kovind's predecessors used to have their southern sojourn for 10 to 15 days.
Located at Bolarum, the Rashtrapati Nilayam building was taken over from the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan (Asaf Jahi VII), after India attained independence and handed over to the Presidentâ€™s Secretariat.
The main building was constructed in 1860 over 2,500 sqm, though it oversees a total land area of 97.62 acres.
It was constructed by Nizam Nazir-ud-Dowla, the fourth ruler of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. He governed Hyderabad state from 1829 to 1857, during which time the â€˜Nizamâ€™s indispensable Prime Ministerâ€™, Sir Salar Jung, also held office.
Presidents including Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, VV Giri, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Giani Zail Singh, R Venkatraman, Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma, KR Narayanan, APJ Abdul Kalam, Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee have stayed at the Nilayam.