things to see / do in Rashtrapati Bhavan , New Delhi , India

Subsequent to Indian independence the Viceroy's house was renamed Government House and when India became a republic in 1952 it was rechristened as Rashtrapati Bhavan ( President’s Quarters / home). An amalgamation of Mughal and classical European architectural style, it has an enormous copper dome which surmount a extended colonnade and 340 decorated rooms. There are 31 steps at the entry to the portico with 20 columns. Transversely the portico, the Durbar hall (Audience hall), with golden pillars and colored marble from all parts of India, is 23m in diameter and has an gracefully carved 2300 year aged sculpture of the Ashokan bull at the entry. It is the place for all official functions of the President as well as the National Award ceremonies. There is a 4th century statue of Gautam Buddha at the rear the Presidents chair. The hall dished up as a museum for a number of years until the present site of the National Museum was erected.

Then there is the rectangular Ashoka hall previously the State Ball Room, currently used for formal assembly such as accepting testimonial from foreign diplomats, swearing in ceremony of ministers and many more. The hall has a painted ceiling and a number of chandeliers with a gorgeous view of the Mughal gardens all the way through its windows. The guest room has two roomy suites for the visiting dignitaries with teak furniture and marvelously woven Indian carpets. State dining room or the Banquet hall with seats of 104 people has walls with teak panels with life-size portraits of the Presidents of India. The Council room which hosts the ceremonial conferences of the President has murals of sea routes to India done by Indian artists but visualized by the renowned art historian Percy Brown. The Art Gallery and the Marble Hall holds a range of works of art composed by the Viceroys and the Presidents of India as well as paintings by famous artists, portraits and statues of British monarchs etc.


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