President of India has two retreat locations in India, Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad (Southern India) & The Retreat Building in Shimla (Northern India). The President stays at these two locations least once a year and can conduct official business. Rashtrapati Nilayam is constructed in 1860 by Nizam Nazir-ud-Dowla which is panned across 90 acres of land and was taken over after the Independence of India. It is usually an entry restricted area and is under military control. Recently, The President of India, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee has stayed here and left. It is seldom open for general public’s visit and I am lucky that I got a chance to visit it.
The entry was from Gate# 2 & and the exit from Gate# 1. First thing that I liked is, there was no entry fee and cameras & mobile phones were allowed. After a walk of almost a kilometer we get to see a white one storied building consisting of around 11 rooms. Right in front of the building there is a beautiful landscaping and then at a certain distance there is a fountain. Behind the building, there is a wash area and a place to dry clothes. At a certain distance from the building, there is a Temple with a well in the front. Also there are plantations of Custard Apple, Sapota etc. It also has a Herbal Garden in 1.5 acre of land comprising of around 116 species which was inaugurated by The Former President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil. It was a memorable visit as we usually don’t get access to see such elite places too often.