"In view of preparations being made for the forthcoming swearing-in-ceremony, the Rashtrapati Bhavan will remain closed for tours on May 24 and 25, 2014. There will also be no Change of Guards ceremony on May 24," a release issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

The Change of Guards ceremony is a military tradition which takes place at Rashtrapati Bhavan every Saturday. The building is closed to public from Monday to Thursday and on gazetted holidays.

The sprawling forecourt lawns of the Rashtrapati Bhavan are being readied for Modi's swearing-in ceremony which will be attended by heads of SAARC nations and other VVIPs.

The External Affairs Ministry has received confirmation from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives. Bangladesh will be represented by its Speaker Shirin Chaudhury as its Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is travelling to Japan on that day.

Following the footsteps of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi has expressed his desire to be sworn at the forecourt so that a large number of visitors can be accommodated.

(Agencies)

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