President of India Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Presidential Guest House ‘Jal Kiran’ at Raj Bhavan on Saturday (17th Aug).
The Guest House will serve as the accommodation for the President of India and the Prime Minister of India during their visits to Mumbai.
The President also unveiled a plaque in front of the refurbished and restored British-era twin cannons at Raj Bhavan.
Spouse of the President Smt Savita Kovind, Governor CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Smt CH. Vinodha, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Minister for Higher and Technical Education Vinod Tawde were prominent among those present.
1. Presidential Guest House ‘Jal Kiran’
Known all along only as an annex to the adjoining Flagstaff Bungalow (today known as ‘Jal Laxan’, the ‘Jal Kiran’ guest house has been completely renovated and upgraded recently. “Jal Kiran’s has a history of more than 150 years.
The renovated VVIP Guest House will have four suites including the one for the President of India and the Prime Minister. The VVIP suite comprises a meeting hall, a drawing room and a sea-facing balcony.
2. Twin Cannons
The discovery of two identical cannons each weighing 22- tones each, in the Mumbai Raj Bhavan estate last year has further added to its historicity. Dating to the pre-World War I era, the cannons – 4.7 metre in length and 1.15 metre in diameter – were found under mud, 25 metres apart from each other, in the foothills of the Raj Bhavan promontory.
The cannons, believed to have belonged to the battery near the coast as part of the defence of Bombay Castle from naval attacks, were first spotted by Raj Bhavan staff members during a tree plantation drive.
On November 3, 2018, in a 12-hour operation undertaken at the instance of Governor CH. Vidyasagar Rao, cranes extricated the ancient weaponry that had got buried underground with the passage of time.
The twins, each weighing 22 tonnes, were then lifted on to the Helipad Lawn and placed there until their restoration in front of the Jal Vihar, the monumental banquet hall.