Shimla, May 22 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind today took everyone by surprise by visiting a restaurant run by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation in Shimla and had snacks there.

On his return from Peterhoff after attending a civic reception, Kovind and his wife Sarita visited Ashiana restaurant and they had tea and snacks there, officials said.

A large number of people gathered around the restaurant to see the president, who greeted them and also paid the bill.

The president’s motorcade was parked on the Ridge road.

Realising that his motorcade was causing inconvenience to people, President Kovind ordered officials to reduce the number of vehicles from 17 to four. He also took a round of the Mall Road and purchased two books from Minerva Book Shop.

The staff at the restaurant was overwhelmed by the surprise visit and by the president’s gesture to pay the bill.

The restaurant’s manager said it was an honour to have the president as guest.

President Kovind is on a six-day sojourn to Shimla.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.