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President Ram Nath Kovind arrived here on a day's visit to attend a series of events during his first visit to Maharashtra after assuming office two months ago. He was accorded a warm welcome at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport by Governor C. V. Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, other elected leaders and senior officials. Shortly after his arrival, he left by road to pay homage at the historic Deekshabhoomi where the architect of the Indian constitution, Babasaheb Ambedkar, had embraced Buddhism along with 600,000 followers 60 years ago.
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The President is scheduled to inaugurate the Vipassana International Meditation Centre at the Dragon Palace Temple, Kamptee, and take part in an hour-long Buddha Vandana programme there. The Dragon Palace Temple, also referred to as the 'Lotus Temple' was built in collaboration with Ogawa Society, Japan, as a tribute to Indo-Japanese friendship. It comprises a massive 72-feet tall central pagoda, and attracts over 1.70 million devotees and tourists annually. Finally, the President will inaugurate the Nagpur Municipal Corporation's Kavi (Poet) Suresh Bhat Auditorium, dedicated after the renowned Marathi poet-lyricist from Vidarbha who passed away in Nagpur in 2003.