The Parliament House or Sansad Bhavan is the seat of the two houses of the Indian Legislature- the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and is therefore by default the most important administrative building in the country and of course in New Delhi. This circular building well known for its colonnade was built as a part of the New Delhi project undertaken by the British Government for its new capital. The parliament building was designed by Herbert Baker, who along with Edwin Lutyens was responsible for the architecture of the much of New Delhi, notably the state administrative buildings along Rajpath. The architecture of the Parliament house actually invoked much criticism among connoisseurs. An article by Robert Byron in Architectural Review, January 1931describes it thus: "The Council Chamber has been Sir Herbertís unhappiest venture. Its effect from a distance has been described. It resembles a Spanish bull-ring, lying like a mill-wheel dropped accidentally on its side." However, this apparently faultily designed building that passes for the Indian Parliament House, is quite a feast for the laymanís eyes.
Architecture of Parliament House
The Parliament House is a huge circular, colonnaded building of sandstone located to the northwest of Vijay Chowk. The building comprises of three semicircular chambers for the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and a Central Library crowned by a 29.9m high dome over which now flaps the tri colors of the Indian flag. The three semi-circular chambers were originally designed for the Chamber of Princes, the Council of State and the Legislative Assembly. The building has a diameter of 170.69m and covers 2.02 hectares in area, with colonnaded verandahs lined with 144 identical columns each 8.23 m high enclosing the entire circumference.
The Central Hall, located at the centre of the circular Parliament House, is surrounded by three Chambers and three well laid-out courtyards with lush green lawns and fountains. Short passages radiating from three equidistant points on the circumference of the Hall connect the Lok Sabha Chamber, the Rajya Sabha Chamber and the earlier Library Hall.
The entire Parliament House Estate is enclosed by an ornamental red sand stone wall with iron gates.
Entry and photography inside the Parliament is free but prior to permission from relevant authorities.
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