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 Rashtrapati
Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India.
The Palace of Rashtrapati Bhavan is located in New Delhi.
Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy's House and served
as the residence of the Governor-General of India. On
12th December 1911, during the Delhi Durbar year it
was announced by King George that the capital of India
would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi. As the plan
for New Delhi took shape, the Governor-General's residence
was given an enormous scale and prominent position.
The British architect Edwin Landseer Lutyens, a key
member of the city-planning process, was handed the
prime architectural responsibility to design the building.
The palace, comprising of more than 350 Rooms, was constructed
to affirm the permanence of British rule in India.
After Indian independence in 1947, the now ceremonial
governor-general continued to live there, being succeeded
by the Indian President in 1950 when India became a
republic and the house was renamed Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The elaborate dome-like structure on top of the Rashtrapati
Bhavan is known as Chuttri. Various Indian designs were
added to the building including several circular stone
basins on the top of the palace. There was also a traditional
Indian chujja or chhajja, which took the place of a
frieze in classical architecture. There were also statues
of elephants and fountain sculptures of cobras in the
gardens, as well as grilles made from red sandstone
The front of the palace, on the east side, has twelve
unevenly spaced columns with the Delhi order capitals.
These capitals have a fusion of acanthus leaves with
the four pendant Indian bells that are part of the Hindu
and Buddhist religions. In the North Block, there are
separate wings for the Viceroy, and another wing for
guests. At the centre of the main part of the palace
is Durbar's Hall underneath the main dome.
Visitors require special permission from Government
of India Tourist Office to enter Rastrapathi Bhavan.
The Mughal garden, displaying numerous types of roses,
remains open to the public only in the month of February
when the flowers gloriously bloom.
How to reach
The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International
Airport located 23 km southwest of Central Delhi and
the domestic terminal at Palam is 5 km away from the
international terminal. Taxi and coach transfer is available
from both International and Domestic Arrivals.
» Architecture of Rashtrapati Bhavan
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