Rashtrapati Bhavan – Information, History, Facts

Rashtrapati Bhavan – Information, History, Facts

The president of India lives in Rashtrapati Bhavan “Presidential Palace”, which is spread over an area of the 330-acre estate in Delhi. The main building has 340 rooms spread over four floors and an area of 5 acres. There is a long road that connects Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate called Rajpath, where every year on Republic Day a grand parade is held. This magnificent building is a testimony to the independence of India.

It is one of the largest and most iconic monuments in the country. Rashtrapati Bhavan consists of the reception hall, state office, tennis courts, cricket ground, a suitable place for children, grounds for playing polo, a residence for employees, and Mughal Gardens (presidential gardens) behind the building. It is one of the largest residences (Presidential Palace) in the world for any head of the state.

History

rashtrapati-bhawan history
Source: thewire.in

This majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan was earlier known as Viceroy’s House was built during the British period. In 1911 Delhi became the capital of British India after Kolkata and the Brithshers constructed impressive buildings especially in the area around Civil Lines and Kashmiri Gate. Raisina Hill houses the most notable examples of Lutyens Delhi where Rashtrapati Bhavan, stands in the middle. Its architecture (especially the dome) has Roman as well as Indian influence.

After Delhi was chosen to be the capital of Britishers, it was decided to build a residence of the British Viceroy and the responsibility for the same was given to British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. Lutyens and Baker found sufficient common ground to create a harmonious set of buildings on the Raisina Hill. The construction of this building started in 1912 and was completed after 17 years of construction in 1929.

Lutyens
Sir Edwin Lutyens

About 29 thousand artisans were engaged in making this huge building. For the construction of this grand Rashtrapati Bhavan, about 4 thousand hectares of land was acquired by transferring Raisina and Malcha villages. Around 1 crore, 40 lakh rupees were spent during the construction of Viceroy House (President House present) built during the British era.

Architecture

rashtrapati bhawan architecture

The ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’, the abode of the first citizen of the country (The President), is a wonderful blend of Indian, Western, and Mughal architecture. It is a four-story structure spread over a vast area of ​​about 330 acres. In which about 3 million cubic feet of stones and 70 million bricks were used in the construction.

This Giant Rashtrapati Bhavan, built-in 2 lakh square feet, has 340 rooms as well as 37 auditoriums, 74 verandas, 37 fountains, 18 stairways (staircase) along with a playground, banquet hall, durbar hall, Ashok hall, north drawing rooms, innovations, clock towers, garages, and gardens.

This Rashtrapati Bhavan has been constructed keeping many Indian and scientific elements in mind. Chakras, canopies, jaalis, and balconies in the Rashtrapati Bhavan display the Indian Archaeological System. The special thing is that no steel has been used in the construction of this magnificent structure. At the same time, the magnificent walls of the elephant are built on the outer walls of the building, along with a cannon on its entry gate.

There are about 12 huge pillars inside this stately Rashtrapati Bhavan, which have beautifully carved bells, replicating the style of bells in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples. These pillars built in the Rashtrapati Bhavan have been inspired by the Mudabari Jain Temple in Karnataka. At the same time, the dome at the top of Rashtrapati Bhavan has been constructed in such a way that it is visible from a distance.

According to experts, the structure of its dome is based on the pattern of Stupa at Sanchi. The Jaipur Column, 145 feet topped by a bronze lotus from which rises a six-pointed glass star. An interesting detail about the column is that inside the stone shaft runs a steel tube that attached the lotus and the star, which weigh a little more than five tones, to a concrete block in the foundation.

jaipur column
Jaipur Column Source: rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in

The layout of the palace is designed around a massive square with many courtyards and open inner areas within. There are separate wings for the Viceroy and another wing for guests. The Viceroy’s wing is a separate four-story house in itself, with its own court areas within. At the center of the main part of the palace, underneath the main dome, is the Durbar Hall. Jaipur column placed in the front of the main building on the east side. Mughal gardens located in the backside of the façade on the west side.

After the constitution of the country came into force, on January 26, 1950, this huge building became the official residence of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the country, since then it has been the residence of the President of India.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan is open to visitors by three different segments or tour circuits. The building is internally divided into three Tourist Circuits – circuit 1, circuit 2, and circuit 3, out of which only one part can be visited at a time. Circuit 1 part covers Rashtrapati Bhavan and its central lawn. Circuit 2 part of this grand building is the museum complex, which is known as RBMC. While circuit 3 part of this grand palace covers the famous Mughal Gardens and other gardens. The Change of Guard Ceremony is held on every Saturday and Sunday at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Mughal Garden inside Rashtrapati Bhavan

Mughal Gardens
Source: rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in

The Mughal Garden inside this huge government residence building of India is one of the major attractions of this luxurious building. This beautiful garden, built from Mughal and British architecture, is opened to the general public every year during the ‘Udyanotsav’ in the month of February.

The garden has many beautiful and colorful flowers of different varieties of roses and tulips, including many medicinal plants. In addition to having 95 percent Indian flowers, the colorful flowers of Japan, Germany, etc. are also seen. The garden is spread over 13 acres in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Interesting Facts about Rashtrapati Bhavan

Beating retreat ceremony

  • The Rashtrapati Bhavan, located in Delhi, is the second-largest residence in the world, number one is the Current Palace in Rome, Italy.

  • The residence of the first citizen of India has been built on Raisina Hill. This huge building was constructed by removing the villages Raisina and Malcha.

  • This largest government residence of Hindustan, Viceroy House was recognized before independence.

  • It took a long time of about 17 years to build this world’s largest government residence, while it was built by 29 thousand workers together.

  • This grand state residence employs about seven and a half hundred employees, of which 245 are employed in the President’s Secretariat.

  • The Mughal Garden, one of the main attractions of Rashtrapati Bhavan, is opened to the general public every year during the festival called ‘Udyanotsav’ in the month of February.

  • The banquet hall inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan, built on a large area in Delhi, is so huge that it can seat about 104 guests at a time.

Ashok Hall
Source: rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in
  • Celebrations such as the swearing-in ceremony of ministers are held in the Ashoka Hall in this huge Rashtrapati Bhavan.

  • This amazing and luxurious Rashtrapati Bhavan also houses the Science and Innovation Gallery, which houses a robot dog named Clumsy, which looks exactly like a real (real) dog.

  • Inside this huge residence of the country, during the Gupta period, a very beautiful statue of Gautam Buddha belonging to the golden age of art and culture is placed behind the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan, which is one of the major attractions here.

  • In this luxurious residence of the President of the country, along with the children’s amenities, their skills have also been taken care of. There are 2 galleries for children in this building, in which one gallery displays the work done by the children, while the other gallery displays the objects of interest of the children.

  • Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens’, this magnificent building in India has a marble hall, which houses some magnificent statues of the Viceroy and the British royal family.

museum
Source: rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in
  • In this royal building of India, a beautiful silver chair of King George V is placed in the Gift Museum, the weight of this chair is about 640 kg. In the year 1911, he was appointed to this chair in Delhi Durbar.

  • Change of Guard Ceremony is held on every Saturday and Sunday at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

  • Indian citizens are required to carry valid photo ID Cards. In the case of foreigners, they should make their request for a visit along with photocopies of their passports. On the day of the visit, they are required to carry their original passport for identification.

How to Reach

rashtrapati bhawan at night

From Delhi IGI Airport reach New Delhi by taking a subway train from IGI Airport station. Rashtrapati Bhavan is located at the Eastern end of the Rajpath, and the nearest metro station is Central Secretariat. From the metro, you can hire a cab or auto to reach Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also find hourly buses from Airport Terminal 2 to Rail Bhawan Metro Station or hire a cab from Delhi Airport to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.