RASHTRAPATI BHAWAN (PRESIDENT'S HOUSE)
Location : West end of Parliament Street
Known As : President's House
Designed By : Sir Edwin Lutyens
Highlights : Mughal Gardens (Open in Feb-March)
President's House, Delhi
'In thought faith; in word wisdom; in deed courage;
in life service. So may India be great'
-- Inscriptions on Jaipur Coloumn
As you turn your back on India Gate, far away in the horizon you can see a colossal dome shimmering in the brilliant hue of the sun. That's the copper casing of the dome of the Viceregal lodge, the official residence of the Viceroy during the days of Colonial Raj. It is the centrepiece of New Delhi, a huge, grandiose building - larger than the Palace of Versailles - designed and positioned to assert the dominance of the British empire. As you head towards the west, on the broad Rajpath, you will experience an elevation in the gradient, and so in your spirits. And that's when you think of Sir Herbert Baker, a South African architect, and a quarrel. Sir Lutyens knew he would be overstressed by the Raisina Hill project and had urged the appointment of Baker, who had fostered reams of praise for his Union Buildings in Pretoria. Ah! yes, the hump and the infamous squabble. That little miscalculation simultaneously led to an irreversible dent on the face of the palace together with an epithet to Baker by Letyens, describing the whole incident as 'Bakerloo'.
You will be amazed to see that this humoungous building
combines Mughal and Western architectural architectural styles, the most
prominant Indian feature being the huge copper dome. In the centre of the
forecourt, behind the high railing fence which now separates Rashtrapati
Bhawan from the Secretariats, you can see the 44 m high Jaipur Coloumn.
Although designed by Lutyens, this soaring sandstone coloumn was a gift to
the viceroy by the maharaja of Jaipur. Look above and you can see a
beautiful glass star rising from the womb of a bronze lotus flower, both
of them dwelling on a higher dimension. You can also read the murky
inscriptions carved on its rippleless surface that bears the above
You cannot enter the Rashtrapati Bhawan without permission, but aesthetes wait for spring when the Mughal garden inside the Bhawan is thrown open to public. Lutyens added poetry to the Bhawan by designing the garden inspired by the natural greens of Jammu and Kashmir and the manicured lawns of the Taj Mahal. Lying to the west of the President's house, the Mughal Gardens are a home to myriad flower species and exotic roses that cheer up the ambience in February.
The Rashtrapati Bhawan is situated at the west end of Parliament Street. You won't find buses plying in that section, but you can always hire taxis and autorickshaws from all over the city to reach the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Permits to visit the Bhawan cen be obtained from the reception office on Raisina Road, but you will need a letter of introduction from your embassy. Plan your visits during February, so that you can also behold the colourful medley of exotic flowers at the Mughal Gardens.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit President's House
Who Made It
About The Architecture
On the Roof Top
In Front of It
The Beautiful Jaipur Coloumn
Tour of North India
Tour of North India
- Out of The World