Amritsar, Nov 16 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind, who was on his first visit to Punjab after assuming office, paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here today.

Donning a black suit, President Kovind along with his family members, paid obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple amidst thick security blanket here.

Kovind was received by Punjab Cabinet ministers Rana Gurjit Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu at the Sri Guru Ramdas International Airport from Adampur near Jalandhar.

After reaching the Golden Temple, he was received by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and former deputy chief minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union minister Harsimart Kaur Badal besides SGPC president Kirapal Singh Badungar.

Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore was also present with the president.

Kovind took a round of the ‘parikrama’ (walk around the marbled periphery) amidst thick security in the shape of human chain provided by the Special Task Force of the SGPC and the Punjab police before listening to the ‘kirtan’ (prayers) at the Golden Temple.

He also took holy water from the ‘sarovar’ (holy tank).

Before paying obeisance in the sanctum sanctorum, he had ‘Langar’ (community meal) with other devotees.

Kovind also visited the Information Centre of the Golden Temple where he was honoured by SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar with a shawl, a set of Sikh religious books and a replica of the temple.

Later, he visited the historic Jallianwalla Bagh where he paid tributes to the martyrs who scarified their lives for the freedom of the nation besides paying obeisance before the ‘Amar Jyoti’.

He also paid obeisance at the Durgiana Temple here where he was honored by the management committee of the temple.

The president earlier in the day presented the prestigious President’s Standard to the 223 Squadron and 117 Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force (IAF) during a ceremonial parade at the Adampur Air Force station.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.