20 July 2017

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Know 18 Facts about Rashtrapati Bhavan Official Residence of Indian President

Know 18 Facts about Rashtrapati Bhavan Official Residence of Indian President

The Rashtrapati Bhavan is a place or Home of the President of India where he resides the Official Residence of Indian President

Below are the 18 important facts about Rashtrapati Bhavan the official residence of Indian President

The Rashtrapati Bhavan or Presidential Residence formerly known as Viceroy's House, is the official home of the President of India, located at the Western end of Rajpath in New Delhi, India. there are three main entries to the Forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan which is divided in President's and Cabinet Secretariats.

The present day Rashtrapati Bhavan was the erstwhile residence of the British Viceroy.
The residence was designed for the first Viceroy of India.
Lord Irwin was the first Viceroy who moved in 1929 in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Its architect was Edwin Landseer Lutyens. The decision to build a residence in New Delhi for the British Viceroy was taken after it was decided in the Delhi Durbar of 1911 that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi in the same year. It was constructed to affirm the permanence of British rule in India. This building gave the impression, in the words of a critique, the setting of a perpetual Durbar.

About 4,000 acres of land was acquired to begin the construction of Viceroy's House, as it was officially called, and adjacent Secretariat Building between 1911 and 1916 by relocating Raisina and Malcha villages that existed there and their 300 families under the Land & Acquisition Act

Lutyens traveled between India and England almost every year for twenty years, to work on the construction of Viceroy's House in both countries. Lutyens reduced the building from 13,000,000 cubic feet (370,000 m3) to 8,500,000 cubic feet (240,000 m3) because of the budget restrictions of Lord Hardinge. While Hardinge demanded that costs be reduced, he nevertheless wanted the house to retain a certain amount of ceremonial grandeur

The sanctioned amount for the building was earmarked at 400,000 pounds. However, the long span of seventeen years required for the construction of the building raised its cost to 877,136 pounds (then Rs. 12.8 million). The actual amount incurred in not only the construction of the building but also the Mughal Garden and the staff quarters amounted to Rs. 14 million. Edwin Lutyens was reported to have remarked that the money invested in the construction of the building was smaller in amount as compared to the cost of two warships.

It is interesting to note that the building which was scheduled to be completed in four years took seventeen years and on the eighteenth year of its completion India became independent.

This vast mansion has got four floors and 340 rooms. With a floor area of 200, 000 square feet it is built by using 700 million bricks and three million cubic feet of stone. Hardly any steel has gone into the construction of the building.

The most prominent and distinguishing aspect of Rashtrapati Bhavan is its dome which is superimposed on its structure. It is visible from a distance and the most eye-catching round roof with a circular base in the heart of Delhi.

Chhajjas are stone slabs which are fixed below the roof of a building and are designed for the purposes of preventing the sunrays from falling on the windows and protecting the walls from the rains in the monsoon.

Chhatris adorn the rooftops of the building and make an exception to the horizontal line through their elevated positions.

Jaalis are the stone slabs containing lots of perforations which are designed with delicate floral and geometric patterns. Lutyens very carefully used chhajjas, chhatris and jaalis and skillfully harnessed the utility of these designs by deploying them at appropriate places.

Another redeeming feature of the architecture of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the use of Indian temple bells in its pillars.  Such bells are conspicuous in their absence in the North Block, South Block and in Parliament House. It is interesting to note that the ideas to adopt such bells in the pillars of Rashtrapati Bhavan came from a Jain temple at Moodabidri in Karnataka.

The height of the dome was increased by Lord Hardinge in the plan of the building in 1913. The dome combines classical and Indian styles. Lutyens said the design evolved from that of the Pantheon in Rome.

When Chakravarty Rajagopalachari assumed office as Governor-General of India and became the occupant of this building he preferred to stay in a few rooms which now comprise the family wing of the President, converting the then Viceroy's apartments into the Guest Wing where the Heads of State of other countries stay during their visit to India.

On 26 January 1950, when Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India and occupied this building, it was renamed as Rashtrapati Bhavan – the President's House.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan is spread over 330 acres and it has 340 rooms out of which 63 are living rooms, 227 columns, 35 loggias and 37 fountains.
Rashtrapati Bhavan has many halls which are used for state functions and other purposes. Two of them, Durbar Hall and Ashoka Hall, are the most prominent.

Durbar Hall is situated directly under the double-dome of the main building. Known as the “Throne Room” before independence, it had two separate thrones for the Viceroy and Vicereine. Presently, a single high chair for the President is kept here under a 2-ton chandelier hanging from a height of 33 m by a 23 m long rope. The flooring of the hall is made of chocolate-coloured Italian marble.

It houses a 5th century Buddha statue from the Gupta period. This ancient Buddha statue is in a perfect straight line to the Gupta-period Bull placed outside and onto the India Gate at the end of Rajpath. The elevation of Raisina Hills is so much that the top of the India Gate lies at the same level as the feet of the Buddha’s statue placed in the Durbar Hall.

The two state drawing rooms, the state supper room and the state library are each on the four corners of Durbar Hall. There are also other rooms such as many loggias (galleries with open air on one side) which face out into the courtyards, a large dining hall with an extremely long table to seat 104 persons, sitting rooms, billiards rooms and staircases.

Durbar Hall has a capacity of 500 people and it is here in this building that Jawahar Lal Nehru took the oath of office of Prime Minister of Independent India from Lord Mountbatten at 8.30 am on 15 August 1947.

Ashoka Hall is a rectangular room of 32×20 m and the most beautiful of all the halls. It was originally built as a state ballroom with wooden flooring. The Persian painting on its ceiling depicts a royal hunting expedition led by King Fateh Ali Shah of Persia. The walls have fresco paintings.

Water features are present throughout the mansion, such as near the Viceroy's stairs, which has eight marble lion statues spilling water into six basins. These lions were symbolic of the heraldry of Great Britain. There is also an open area in one room to the sky, which lets in much of the natural light.

The Mughal Gardens are situated at the back of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, incorporate both Mughal and English landscaping styles and feature a great variety of flowers. The Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens are open to the public in February every year.

In July 2014, a museum inside Rashtrapati Bhavan was inaugurated by President of India Pranab Mukherjee. The museum helps visitors to get an inside view of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, its art, architecture and get educated about lives of past presidents

The first restoration project at the Rashtrapati Bhavan was started in 1985 and ended in 1989, during which the Ashoka Hall was stripped of its later additions and restored to its original state by the architectural restorer Sunita Kohli.
The second restoration project, begun in 2010, involved Charles Correa and Sunita Kohli

Photo of Rashtrapati Bhavan 1

Photo of Ashoka Hall

Photo of Durbar Hall 1

Photo of Durbar Hall 2

Photo of Marble Hall 1

Photo of Banquet Hall

Reality views by sm –

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tags – History Facts Rashtrapati Bhavan Official Residence of Indian President