A VISIT TO RASHTRAPATI BHAVAN
Most of the countries have official residences for their Presidents. Like White House to American President, we have one too. That is called Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. I recently visited there.
Wow! The very sight of this four-storeyed building built way back in 1929 when the British government ruled India, made me catch my breath! It was built by Sir Edwin Landeer Lutyens, with a combination of the trio: Mogul (who ruled before) Indian and European style fashion. There
are more than 300 rooms. The building has the plinth area of 2 lakhs sq. feet.
It was to commemorate the, then British Viceroy Lord Irwin who made Delhi the capital. (Previously Calcutta was the capital city of India). At that time it was called as “Viceroy House” which, after India’s Independence is known as “Rashtrapati Bhavan.”
There are authorized professional guides who will usher the visitors five days in a week, except on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But anyone who wishes to visit this building, must write or E-mail to the officer concerned, disclosing personal details and get the nod of approval, quoting the date of your visit. (E-mail ID is, [email protected]).
Outside, magnificent Mogul gardens with sweet smelling flowers, gives a heavenly feel. This vast area of the garden is where the President hosts party to the guests known as, “At Home” party.
Of these grand sights, there is one that topped all! It is the Children’s museum. I have seen many gifts were on display. The presents sent or given by the children are put on display. Besides, there is one weighing machine that is unique. If you stand on it, you will know what your weight is in the earth’s moon and on different planets in the universe!
I saw the children snaking there, waiting for their turn to know their weight in different planets.
Hallmark: Two main halls there are the hallmark: Durbar Hall and Ashoka Hall. The Durbar hall previously had the seats for the Viceroy and his spouse, the Vicereine. It is currently the seat of our President. Durbar Hall is where the award distributing ceremony and the official functions are held.
The Ashoka Hall is popular for the presentation of the Gallantry Awards to the defence personnel. The visiting VIPs meet the President at another hall called the Banquet hall.