New Delhi: Iconic Rashtrapati Bhavan has got a new ceremonial hall.
The new addition is part of efforts to make Rashtrapati Bhavan a cultural hub and reflective of the aspirations of an 'on the move' India, President Pranab Mukherjee said as he inaugurated the ceremonial last evening in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh among others.
"The President said his endeavour is to make Rashtrapati Bhavan a culturally vibrant, dynamic and living hub, reflective of an aspirational and 'on the move' India an India which while progressing rapidly is also deeply rooted in its culture and civilisational values," a statement from the Rashtrapati Bhavan said quoting Mukherjee.
He added that India, being one of the oldest and culturally rich civilisations of the world, claims a cultural legacy which is as deep as it is timeless.
"Successive Presidents, starting with Babu Rajendra Prasad, have tried to keep this legacy alive by providing the Rashtrapati Bhavan as a platform for the performing arts and their practitioners. The present ceremonial hall will take this initiative of revitalisation of our culture forward by providing the necessary space and opportunity for our established, as also young artists, to display their performances and works of art," he said.
The President said the construction of the hall will give the much needed flexibility to continue with Rashtrapati Bhavan functions even in times of inclement weather.
He expressed confidence that the ceremonial hall shall prove to be an important value addition to the mosaic of buildings that comprise the President's Estate, the statement said.
The hall will form part of an integrated Rashtrapati Bhavan cultural centre with an Art Gallery, multi-purpose halls and auditorium.
Built as an extension of the existing auditorium, the 55m x 41m hall has been built keeping in mind the requirements of August 15 'At Home' receptions and 'Guards of Honour' for visiting foreign dignitaries during inclement weather.
The inauguration was followed by a performance by vocalists Rajan and Sajan Mishra.