Apart from being the capital of India, Delhi is a fascinating
city with pleasant contradictions. Comprising of Old
Delhi and New Delhi, the city is home to famous tourist
destinations like the Laxmi Narayan Temple, India Gate,
Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb,
and the vivacious shopping bazaar of Chandni Chowk.
One such tourist attraction in Delhi is the Parliament
House, the place where the Indian Parliament meets and
the world's largest democracy functions.
It was the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms of 1919 that gave
birth to the Parliament House. Earlier called the Circular
House, it was added to the layout at a later stage following
the reforms which created a large Legislative Assembly.
This is the reason for the Parliament House being also
called Sansad Bhawan, which means a large Legislative
A brainchild of Herbert Baker, this magnanimous structure
was much criticized in comparison with Lutyens creations.
In January 1931, an article by Robert Byron in Architectural
Review describes it thus - "The Council Chamber
has been Sir Herbert's 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."
The massive, spherical building of the Parliament House
comprises of three semicircular chambers for the Legislatures
and a Central Library crowned by a 27.4m high dome.
The dome is 173m in diameter and covers 2.02 hectares
in area, enclosed by a verandah with 144 columns. The
three semi-circular areas were designed for the Chamber
of Princes, the Council of State and the Legislative
Assembly. Today they house the chambers of the Lok Sabha
(House of the People), Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and
the library. The boundary wall has blocks of sandstone
carved in geometrical patterns that reflect the Mughal
Location and entrance
The Parliament House is situated on the northwest of
Vijay Chowk, next to the Secretariat buildings at the
end of the Parliament Street (Sansad Marg), New Delhi,
India. Entrance to outsiders is not allowed without
official permission, whether Parliament is in session
or not. To obtain a visitor's pass to Sansad Bhawan,
Indian nationals should apply to the Parliament Secretariat.
Foreign nationals have to apply through their embassies
or high commissions. Visitors can enter the public galleries
of the Indian Parliament with prior permission, after
receiving an official pass. To enter the library, an
entry pass can be obtained from the Visitor's reception
on Raisina Road by providing a letter of introduction
from a Member of Parliament.
» Architecture of Parliament House
» Parliament House Fast Facts
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