Gardens, Halwa and Business - Prince Charles' first day in India | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Gardens, Halwa and Business - Prince Charles' first day in India

delhi Updated: Oct 03, 2010 12:14 IST

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A long walk across the manicured lawns of Rashtrapati Bhawan's Mughal Gardens, a taste of President Pratibha Patil's favourite recipe, as well as a chat with India's top businessmen and best brains -- Prince Charles had a packed first day of his Indian visit, during which he will open the Commonwealth Games.

Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, were received in Delhi by the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

The heir to the British throne will be declaring the Games open on Sunday evening, jointly with President Patil, at the opening ceremony in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Prince Charles, accompanied by his wife, called on the President at 5.30 p.m. "They had an informal chat for about half-an-hour. After that, they went for a walk in the gardens," said a Rashtrapati Bhavan official.

The beautifully-tended Mughal Gardens seemed to have entranced the royal couple, who walked along the sculptured green terraces for about 40 minutes.

Patil, and her husband, Devisingh Shekhawat, were showing off the key elements of the Gardens, from the verdant central lawn to the musical fountains.

"The prince was also aware of project Roshni and wanted to know about its details," said the official. Project Roshni aims to turn the President's Estate into a eco-friendly and sustainable habitat.

Indian delicacies were also offered to the Prince, which included a dish of pineapple halwa, made from a personal recipe of Patil.

Prince Charles took part in a Trade and Promotion reception at the British High Commission, where he met with prominent Delhi-based businessmen, like the Airtel chairman and managing director, Sunil Mittal and industrialist-politician, Naveen Jindal.

India is among the top investment sources for Britain, topping $14.24 billion annually.

After that, he attended another reception to mark the golden jubilee of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. It had a personal connection as the foundation stone for the prestigious educational institution had been laid by his father, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

At the reception, he met with students and directors from the 15 IITs around India. He also looked at old photographs of his visit to the institution thirty years ago, and expressed hope that the IITs will further cover themselves with glory in the future.