The Rashtrapati Bhawan is an eminent monument of British Empire which is said to be the palace of the Viceroy of India. Rashtrapati Bhawan of Delhi is considered to be the best known monument of India next to glorious Taj Mahal and Qutb Minar.
Rashtrapati Bhawan is the house of the President of India. It is a real masterpiece that was built in the British period. It is the focal point of New Delhi and situated in the Raisina Hills. The total cost of constructing the Rashtrapati Bhawan crossed £1,253,000 in British India.
Edwin Lutyens designed the building and construction work began in 1911. It was supposed to be completed in 4 years but war intervened and it took 19 years to complete it. Lord Edwin, the then Viceroy and Governor General of India was the first to live here in 1931.
India Gate is visible from the entrance of Rashtrapati Bhawan through the heat mirages. It looks close but it is at least 3km away from there. This little elevation of the Raisina Hill gives you a new perspective. The alignment of the buildings can’t be more perfect. Even the black road with a yellow line in the middle surrounded by red earth on either side of the road now looks more meaningful than ever.
There is a Durbar Hall inside the Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi and the dome of the hall measures 22.8 meters in diameter. The hall is marked by the beautiful colored marbles. You can see the Viceroy’s throne in this hall. Today, the Durbar Hall is the major venue of all official ceremonies of the Indian Government such as the oath taking ceremony by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Members of Parliament. The Arjuna Awards for Excellence is also presented in this hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The Rashtrapati Bhawan comprises of the following:
- The State Drawing Room
- The State Ballroom
- The State Library
- The State Dining Room
- The Private Apartments
To the west of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, there is a wonderful Mughal garden which is open to the public every spring. The parliament street adjacent to the Delhi Rashtrapati Bhawan prohibits the bus service but you can reach the Rashtrapati Bhawan by hired taxi or auto rickshaws.
Tours are available to the Rashtrapati Bhawan and Mughal Gardens with a registration fee of Rs.25. The fee is charged to maintain and improve services for the public in the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The registration charges will not be charged when the Mughal Gardens are open to public in months of February/March every year. The charges are for those who book themselves online for tours of Rashtrapati Bhawan and Mughal Gardens. It also applies to walk-in visitors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday when the Bhawan is open to public. Groups of 30 or more can get discounted rates and children below the age of 12 will be excused from registration charges.