Rashtrapati Bhavan

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Rashtrapati Bhavan

History

Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the Indian President and is located in the heart of the National Capital, Delhi. Rashtrapati Bhavan was one of the largest designed Raj buildings of Edwin Lutyens and was originally built as the British Viceroy's Palace. It was renamed after India won its independence and is now known as Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Rashtrapati Bhavan is a large and vast mansion that is built on a floor area of 200,000 square feet and has 340 rooms divided into four floors. The building like almost all Mughal buildings is made up of red sandstone and has classical columns and Indian filigree work. The most distinguished feature about the Bhavan though is its huge Mughal-style dome, called Chhatri. The Chhatri is visible from quite a distance and under the dome is the main hall, Durbar Hall, also known as the throne room during the British rule. The President hosts official functions over here. The hall measures almost 23m in diameter and has a beautiful 2-ton chandelier which hangs from a 33-metre height. There are many water features spread around in the building, the most prominent one being near the Viceroy’s stairs with 8 lions pouring water into 6 basins.

Another important hall in the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the Ashoka Hall, formerly the ballroom, its walls and ceiling painted with scenes from Persian poetry. These two halls, the State Dining Room (for formal banquets), a large number of guest suites, and the private apartments of the Viceroy and his family were designed to the last detail by Lutyens himself. Another attraction is the Jaipur Column, which is a massive sandstone shaft of 145 ft situated in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. A bronze lotus raising a six-pointed crystal star can be found on its top. The structure got its name, as it was gifted to the British by the Maharaja Madhosingh of Jaipur.

Besides the structural attractions, what attracts most visitors to the place is the Mughal Garden that sprawl over 13 acres behind the building. Like other traditional Mughal gardens, there are water channels and pools, carved fountains, chhatris and parterres. The Mughal Gardens have more than 250 varieties of roses, and probably the world’s largest collection of marigold species – besides an array of bougainvillea, dahlias, and other flowers. A small bonsai garden and a herb garden have also been added.

Best time to visit

The climate of the city shows a large temperature differences between the different seasons. Summers last from March to June and are extremely hot with temperature reaching up to 47°C. Typically tourists are advised not to visit Delhi during these months. Winters start from December and last till February and are very chilly, with the lowest temperature hovering around 0°C. Winters are generally accompanied by heavy fog.

Best time to visit the city is from the month of August to the month of April.

Trivia

Raisina Hill, the area which houses the Rashtrapati Bhavan, gets its name from Raisina and Malcha villages which were cleared to make way for Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The song 'Des Rangila' from the movie 'Fanaa', starring actor Aamir Khan and Kajol, was shot at Rashtrapati Bhavan, including its rehearsal scenes.

Timing

There are no particular timings for visiting the Rashtrapati Bhawan as entry is only through special permission. The timings for visiting Mughal Garden (during February-March) are from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm every day except Mondays.

A visit the bhawan can be booked online through the official Rastrapati Bhavan website.


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