On Monday, July 25, Droupadi Murmu, the former Governor of Jharkhand, took oath as the 15th President of India. As she moves into the Presidential house, aka the Rashtrapati Bhavan, we take you on a virtual tour of the grandeur that this roomy, airy space has. Tag along? By Anushka Goel
Rashtrapati Bhavan is undoubtedly a building that is grand, and stands its ground like a royal, regal structure. Located on the President’s Estate in Central Delhi‘s Raisina Hill, along Rajpath, which connects the presidential home to India Gate. The Bhavan, covering about five acres on a 330-acre estate, has 340 rooms spread over four floors, according to the Bhavan’s website.
The Bhavan is surrounded by massive gardens, well-maintained throughout the year, that add to the beauty and grandeur of the space. The place has stunning architecture, thanks to the painstaking efforts of thousands of masons, carpenters, artists, carvers, and cutters, who toiled day and night to make this structure.
Some parts of the Rashtrapati Bhavan are open for public viewing, too, as long as visitors have booked prior appointments for in-person tours, Mughal Gardens visit, Rose Garden visits and more. But in case you are unable to come here for a tour physically, we’ve curated the inside pictures for you, to take you on a virtual tour of the place.
Rashtrapati Bhavan: Inside the grand structure
The Bhavan has gardens that are open to the general public, such as the Mughal Garden, Herbal Garden, Spiritual Garden and more. The place also has a museum and galleries that are often visited by students and the public alike, along with places such as the Darbar Hall, Guest Wing and more.
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One of the places to visit in Rashtrapati Bhavan are the Mughal Gardens. The gardens are inspired by the Persian Charbagh, and is among the most celebrated parts of the President’s house.
Stunning architecture defines this structure at the Bhavan, which welcomes you as you start the tour of the home. The grand, sweeping stairs, lined with potted plants, make for a grand entrance and will make you feel like you’re part of history, too.
The Ashok Hall was used as a ballroom once upon a time, and is now used for ceremonial functions such as the presentation of credentials by Heads of Missions of foreign countries, and as a formal place to introduce visiting and Indian delegations prior to the commencement of state banquets hosted by the president.
Lutyens’ Grand Stairs
This is the staircase that takes one to the banquet hall at one end and the Ashok Hall at the other. The staircase, made of red sandstone, is about 111 metres in length and 53 metres in width.
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The main structure of Rashtrapati Bhavan is also visible from outside. The soft red building stands tall against the skies and lush green surroundings.
Another area of the Bhavan that is included in the tour of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the reception. This is where all guests and visitors are welcomed, and a life-sized painting of Mahatma Gandhi graces its wall.
Inaugurated in 2015 by the President, Navachata Gallery fosters innovation and technological advancement in India. New technology-based innovations are sought, a select few are displayed here.
The Banquet Hall is also known as the State Dining room. The space boasts of intricate detailing, lush carpets and more. The room overlooks the Mughal Gardens, making for a stunning view when flowers are in full bloom.
Upper Loggia lies between the two halls, and overlooks the Grand Stairs. Complete with bell motifs, the place has a beautiful structure that is worth a visit.
This is the place that houses the Heads of State, their consorts and senior members of the delegation. The two main suites here, namely Dwarka Suite and Nalanda Suite, are where several heads of states, Kings, Queens and more have stayed in the past.
North Drawing Room
Among the formal drawing rooms where the President received visiting Heads of States, it is located near the Darbar Hall. The room has teak panelling on the walls, stunningly carved wooden futniture and a cosy, comfortable vibe.
Long Drawing Room
This is where the President hosts annual conferences of Governors and Lieutenant Governors. Located near the Darbar Hall, its corridors open to the North and South Drawing Rooms at either end.
The structure, a circle within a square, is said to resemble St Stephen’s Walbrook in London. The place houses over 33,000 books, of which 2,000 are rare texts.
The place is witness to the historic moment when Pt Jawaharlal Nehru ushered India into an independent era. The hall is also where the first government of India had its swearing-in ceremony.
Lord Buddha Statue
The statue, also known as the as Sahastrabahu avlokiteshvara, was a gift from the Government of Vietnam to India’s second President, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. The Plaster of Paris statue is located on the south staircase of the Bhavan.
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