" --IANS"
Shimla, May 20 - President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday was accorded a ceremonial reception on his arrival in the Himachal Pradesh capital on a four-day holiday.

He was given a guard of honour at the Kalyani helipad near here. Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his cabinet colleague Mohinder Singh received him.

Official sources said Kovind would stay at The Retreat, the President's summer holiday resort, just 15 km uphill from Shimla where Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Vadra is constructing a cottage.

Built in 1850, The Retreat was once the summer residence of the Viceroys when this hill town was the summer capital of British India.

This is Kovind's first visit to the hill state after becoming the President.

I hope your stay in Shimla will be pleasant. You should guide us for taking Himachal Pradesh to its new heights, the Chief Minister tweeted.

In the evening, the President will be attending a cultural programme and banquet hosted in his honour by Acharya Devvrat in Shimla, an official told IANS.

During his visit, the President will address the Ninth convocation of Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Nauni in Solan town on Monday.

The next day, he will address a civic reception hosted by the government in Shimla.

A day before his departure on May 24, the President will host a reception for state's senior dignitaries.

--IANS

vg/mr


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