The Rashtrapati Bhavan, “Presidential Residence” is the official home of the President of India, located in New Delhi, India. It may refer to only the mansion (the 340-room main building) that has the president’s official residence, halls, guest rooms and offices; it may also refer to the entire 130-hectare (320 acre) President Estate that additionally includes huge presidential gardens (Mughal Gardens), large open spaces, residences of bodyguards and staff, stables, other offices and utilities within its perimeter walls.
Interesting Facts about Rashtrapati Bhavan:
- Rashtrapati Bhavan also known as Presidential palace is the second largest in the world after the Quirinal Palace, Rome, Italy. In terms of area, it was the largest residence of a head of state in the world.
2. Rashtrapati Bhavan was formerly used by the Viceroy of India, the former head of the state of the country.
3. The structure includes 700 million bricks and 3.5 million cubic feet (85,000 m³) of stone, with only minimal usage of steel.
4. It has 355 decorated rooms and a floor area of 200,000 square feet (19,000 m²) and consisting of four floors.
5. Took 17 years for its completion as its construction was started in 1912 and completed in 1929, around 29,000 people have worked.
6. The British architect Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens was the archiect of the Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
7. The Mughal Gardens cover an area of 15 acres are situated at the back of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, incorporate both Mughal and English landscaping styles and feature a great variety of flowers. They were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens inspired by the beautiful gardens of J & K, the garden around the Taj Mahal and Persian and Indian miniature paintings. The Mughal Gardens opens for general public viewing in February–March every year during Udyanotsav.
8. It has strength of 750 staff, of which 245 are in the President’s Secretariat.
9. In the Rashtrapati Bhavan, a ceremonial ‘Change of Guard’ happenes every Saturday at 10 am. It is a 30 minute ceremony, open for all. To attend the ceremony, you just need to produce your photo ID to get entry.
10. According to news reports, the Government of India spent more than Rs. 100 crore for the maintance of the presidential palace i.e. Rashtrapati Bhavan in 2007.
11. It is built on Raisina Hill which was named after one of the two villages (Raisini and Malcha).
12. One more amazing thing is that the Presidential Palace has two galleries for children. One is to showcase the work of children i.e ‘By the Children’ and another is to display variety of items of children interest i.e ‘For the Children’.
Rashtrapati Bhavan, one of the most stunning and well-maintained structures in Delhi, is also home to the President of India. The flag on the central dome overlooks the Jaipur Column, created by the British sculptor Charles Sargent Jagger.
Passage to connect the halls and corridors
The passage linking the halls and the corridors has a marble ceiling. And the objects in the alcoves are gifts given to the President by visiting head of states.
The ceiling was handpainted by skilled artisans and the sweeping strokes on the patterned floor are a sharp contrast to the finely gilded ceiling.
The stairway leads to the Ashoka Hall at the Bhavan. The inlay star pattern on the floor is a recurring motif in architect Edwin Lutyen’s (the architect of Rashtrapati Bhavan) designs.
Guards wait at the stairway
At the entrance to the grand stairway which leads to the Ashoka Hall, uniformed guards await guests.
The building is framed by a veranda with pillars on the outer side. The concentric cirlces on the ventilation window are a recurring pattern in Lutyen’s design.
The perfectly symmetrical Mughal Garden was precisely plotted by Lutyens, with plants, trees and flowers planted carefully and interspersed with water channels.
The Royal Ballroom – Ashoka Hall
The central mural on the ceiling was presented by the Persian ruler Fateh Ali Shah Qajar to King George IV. The carpet was woven by Kashmiri carpet makers.
The wooden chair with the backrest carved in the pattern of a spider’s web was designed for the Rashtrapati Bhavan specifically.
The President’s study
Located on the ground floor, the President’s study is decorated with intricate patterns on the ceiling, mirrored in the chandeliers. A handwoven Kashmiri carpet covers the floor.
The formal meeting hall
This is the formal meeting room where the President meets visiting delegations. The chairs and armchairs in the room were designed by Lutyens.
The Banquet Hall, also known as the State Dining Room
North Drawing Room
Lord Buddha Statue
The East facade – Forecourt
The sloping approach from the east, which hides the lower part of the building, as Lutyens feared
Cannon outside the entrance to Rashtrapati Bhawan
Main gate – Iron Gate
Elephant statues on the outer wall
A bronze statue of Mahatama Gandhi
Rashtrapati Bhavan Illuminated