US president Donald Trump, who will reach India on a two-day visit on Monday , is the seventh US president to travel to the country and the first one to land in Gujarat's Ahmedabad. Dwight D Eisenhower, the famous World War general who became president, was the first US President to visit India in 1959.
When Trump arrives in Ahmedabad on Monday, he will become the fourth consecutive American president to visit India, signalling a new bond between two of the largest democracies. Donald Trump, who has visited 20 countries since taking office in 2017, is the only second White House occupant to travel to India in the first term. Barack Obama, who visited India twice, was the first US president to do so in 2010.
The 36-hour long trip of Trump and first lady Melania will start from Ahmedabad where he will be joined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an unprecedented roadshow and a historic joint address at mega event "Namaste Trump" in front of a record crowd of more than one lakh people. The visit is likely to significantly ramp up bilateral relations between the two countries, especially in the defence and strategic sectors.
Here's a look back at all US presidents who visited India:
1. Dwight D Eisenhower, who served as the US president from 1953 to 1961, was the first US President to visit India in 1959. President Eisenhower's historic visit to India from December 9 to 15 launched the bilateral relationship at an important period just over a decade after India's own independence.
2. Richard Nixon, who resigned due to the Watergate scandal and in the face of impending impeachment, was the second US president to travel to India in 1969 -- almost a decade after Eisenhower. Tensions over US' tacit support for Pakistan and close ties with Pakistani General Yahya Khan loomed over President Richard Nixon's short visit to India from July 31 to August 1, 1969.
3. Jimmy Carter, who served the United States between 1977 to 1981, was the third US president to visit India in January 1978. He was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. President Carter visited India from January 1 to 3, 1978, soon after Janata Party leader Morarji Desai succeeded Indira Gandhi as the prime minister. During his visit, Carter sought to ease tensions between the US and India, which had escalated during the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence and India's 1974 nuclear weapons tests.
4. Bill Clinton, who played an important role in forcing Pakistan to withdraw troops during Kargil war in 1999, was the fourth US president to travel to India in March 2000. Following a period of intense diplomatic engagement with India and Pakistan to deescalate the 1999 Kargil War, Bill Clinton visited India from March 19 to 25, 2000.
5. George W Bush, whose administration helped in finalising civil nuclear deal with India, was the fifth US president to travel to India in 2006. During his visit lasting about two-and-a-half days, Bush and then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put the finishing touches to the civil nuclear deal.
6. Barack Obama, who shares a good relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was the sixth US president to travel to India and the only one to visit twice, in 2010 and 2015. Obama's first visit to India from November 6 to 9, 2010 elevated the country as a strategic partner and critical focus in the foreign policy pivot to Asia. Obama created history when he visited India for the second time in 2015 the first by a sitting US president from January 24 to 27.
By Chitranjan Kumar with PTI inputs