Rashtrapati Nilayam open for public till Jan 15

Telangana Rashtrapati Nilayam: From school children to elderly persons, the silent corridors of Rashtrapati Nilayam have sprung up to life with nearly 8500 people thronging its premises since the past one week. As a part of the annual heritage, the winter home Rashtrapati Nilayam of India’s first citizen in Hyderabad Bolarum would be kept open for the People until January 15.

Spread over 2500 square meters, the iconic main building of the President’s official retreat is divided into the President’s Wing, the Family Wing, and ADC Wing comprising a total of 20 luxurious rooms including a Cinema Hall, State Dining Hall, Morning Room, Durbar Hall and the ADC Dining room. But unfortunately, access to these rooms has been completely denied to the general public from the past few years, leaving the visitors to be content only by glancing through the transparent window panes or the mesh wires fitted on the doors.

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However, certain nook and corners like the underground tunnel leading from the kitchen to the state dining room are still available for the visitors to explore.

“Earlier during the tenure of former President Pratibha Patil, we had allowed the public to go into the rooms and let them experience a majestic life led by the President of India. But people misused the opportunity.

They soiled the interiors and disturbed the existing arrangements of the room due to which we had to bear heavy losses in restoration works. So we had to keep the rooms locked but that did not mean we strayed away from the tradition. Even today, visitors can get a glimpse of the rooms and enjoy the surroundings.” explains a caretaker and guide of the Rashtrapati Nilayam.

Originally known as the Residency House, Rashtrapati Nilayam once served as the residence of the Chief Military Officer during the Nizam’s reign, was constructed by the fourth ruler of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, Nizam Nazir-ud-Dowla. After India attained Independence, the property was taken over from the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan (Asaf Jahi VII) to the President’s secretariat. Ever since then, it had become the official residence for the head of the state during his annual southern sojourn.

The 97.62 acres estate is also known for its green cover that amounts to nearly 80 percent of the total field. Decked with ornamental and flowering plants on each side of the roads inside the campus, the Nilayam building is surrounded by the Herbal and Nakshatra Garden which houses plants and trees of both medicinal and astrological value.

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While Nakshatra Garden helps in determining trees belonging to each star sign, the Herbal Garden consists of plants like Eucalyptus, Tulsi etc that functions as a cure for several diseases or wounds. Apart from these gardens, the Nilayam grounds also contain an orchard that occupies over 35 acres of land and is used to grow Mango, Sapota, Amla, Guava, Sitaphal, and Coconut.

One would be surprised to know that all the trees or plants raised in the building premises are regularly irrigated with the help of old tube wells and a drip system to conserve water and use it judiciously. Even the fountain on the main lawn was constructed by using an abandoned water tank.

“It is a pleasure to come and see the magnificent structure. My friends and I loved seeing the huge rooms and roaming in the tunnel. The greenery here is a treat to the eyes and the environment is very peaceful. The President is lucky to have a place like this and if given a chance, I would want to stay here till I would build something like this for myself.” gleams Bhaskar, a student of the Government Public School, Alwal.

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