President Patil visits Forbidden City in China

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Beijing, May 28 (ANI): On the third day of her six-day state visit to China, Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Friday visited the famous Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing and expressed admiration for the grandeur of China's past.

"The visit to the Forbidden City in Beijing was a unique experience. I take back memories and this splendour and grandeur of China's glorious past which, like India, is an ancient civilisation," Patil wrote in the visitor's book.

The Ming and the Qing dynasties ruled the Forbidden City 600 years ago.

Patil, sitting in a golf cart along with her husband Devisingh Shekhawat, went around the 74-hectare city complex

Once an imperial palace, the Forbidden City is now known as the Palace Museum.

It is the world's largest palace complex with 9,999 rooms.

Listed by the UNESCO as the World Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions worldwide. It was constructed in 1407.

"Harmony halls show the importance given to the concept of harmony in the Chinese civilisation. I deeply appreciate this. My very warm greetings to the people of China. My good wishes for their progress and prosperity," Patil wrote.

She also visited the Temple of Heaven, which is much bigger than forbidden city and is situated in an area of about 27,00000 square metres.

"It has been a pleasure for me to visit the Temple of Heaven which depicts China's rich architectural heritage with great aesthetic beauty," she said.

Due to heavy downpour, the president could not tour the entire complex. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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