Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], May 22 (ANI): In a surprising break from the protocol, President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday roamed around Shimla’s Mall Road area, bought books with his credit card and interacted with the people around.

Kovind, who is on a four-day official trip to Himachal Pradesh, took some time off from his busy schedule to roam around in Shimla with his family.

After having tea at the Ashiayan Restaurant of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, President Kovind – on his maiden trip to Himachal Pradesh – strolled around the Ridge Maidan and the Mall Road.

“Dropped in with my family to a restaurant on Shimla’s landmark Ridge. Greeted very warmly by the hospitable staff and fellow guests at the restaurant,” Kovind wrote on Twitter.

He even took photographs in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and even shook hands with people around, who got enthralled to see the President.

“President had tea and snacks at the Ashiana restaurant on ridge. This was an overwhelming experience for the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation,” manager of Ashiana Restaurant, BS Aukta, told ANI.

During his visit, Kovind also bought books from a local store.

“The President has bought two books for himself and 10 books for his grand children for Rs 1600. The two books he bought included one on the Shimla Kalka railway line and another in Hindi of Indian writer, Amar Bharat,” Minarva Book Store owner Rahul Aggrwal told ANI.

Kovind said that he felt “happy to experience the spreading digital payments culture in our country.”

Further sharing his experience, Kovind tweeted: “Happy to walk down the iconic Mall Road in Shimla and meet the very friendly local residents and tourists. Paid my tributes to Mahatma Gandhi #PresidentKovind.”

On Monday, Kovind addressed the 9th convocation ceremony of Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Solan. (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.