The Rashtrapati Bhawan, The President of India's official residence was designed by Sir Edwin L. Lutyens, and finally came into being in 1929. Set on a lavish scale, the palatial quarters took over 17 years to build with 3500 men toiling over it. Situated in the heart of Delhi, the Rashtrapati Bhawan used to serve as a viceregal home during the British era. It was only after the independence that India became republic and the building was re-christened as Rashtrapati Bhawan.
A combination of superior Mughal and western styles, the allure of Rashtrapati Bhawan lies in its huge expansive gardens, spread over 130 hectares that are known as Mughal Gardens. Tourists can visit these gardens during the Month of February when they are resplendent in all their glory, replete with blooming roses and dahlias. In other months you can view the ceremonial Changing of the Guards at the Rashtrapati Bhawan Gates that is a throwback to the traditions of the yore and takes place Every Saturday without fail.
Explore the visual treat that is the Rashtrapati Bhawan, what with its exotic pillars, massive halls and delightful porticos. A classical structure in bricks and marble, the presidential quarters are extensively decorated with elephant motifs (for the gates) and other Indian motifs such as Buddhist railings, chhatris, jalis and chhajjas. The building is surmounted by a huge dome and is a study in symmetry and sophistication.
Overall, Rashtrapati Bhawan contains 340 total rooms. The massive Durbar hall serves as the venue for all official functions of the State and comprises of golden pillars. Guests are greeted at the entrance by a 2300 yr old sculpture of Ashoka Bull. The dining hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan is used whenever the President hosts a dinner in honor of a visiting foreign dignitary. Formal ceremonies such as official swearing-in, presentation of credentials, etc take place in the Ashoka Hall. This hall is marked by an elaborate painted ceiling with several beautiful chandeliers. Visitors require special permission from Government of India Tourist Office to enter Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Some of the other places to visit in Delhi are:
- Red Fort
- Jama Masjid
- Humayun Tomb
- Qutub Minar
- Purana Quila
- Jantar Mantar
- Safdarjung Tomb
- Birla Mandir
- India Gate
- National Museum
- Hazrat Nizamuddin Tomb
- Lotus Temple
- Akshardham Temple
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