Rashtrapati Bhavan, which used to be the ‘Viceroy’s House’ before independence, is now a home to our country’s President. This 130-hectare estate also includes Mughal Gardens along with residence staff and many other offices.
Following the recent opening of Rashtrapati Bhavan for public visit, we can now have an inside view of the architectural beauty that the house of President holds. The government has also come up with the website for booking the visit in prior, making it even more convenient. If you are in Delhi, you must be planning your visit. If you are not, you should plan one trip soon and stay in one of the hotels in Delhi, close to Rashtrapati Bhavan to make the most out of your trip. But there are a few interesting facts about Rashtrapati Bhavan that very few people know about. Read on.
Interesting Facts about Rashtrapati Bhavan
1. It is the second largest residence in the world.
Our President’s house is the second largest residence of a head of state in the world. It has more than 300 rooms including the staff rooms.
2. The construction involved 17 years and 29,000 workers.
It was completed in a duration of 17 years. In the construction, more than 29,000 workers were employed and 700 million bricks were used.
3. Udhyanotsav – A flower show of 100 varieties
There are more than 100 varieties of flowers in the Mughal Garden, which are displayed during the festival of Udyanotsav.
4. The Palace is built on Raisina Hills
It is built on Raisina Hills. These hills are named after the two villages – Raisini and Malcha – which were cleared in order to build the palace, house of India’s Viceroy back then.
5. Gift Hall – Entire hall for all gifts received by the President
There is a gift hall in the Rashtrapati Bhavan which holds all the gifts received by the President. It also has two silver chairs used by King Geroge V and his Queen.
6. The Banquet Hall
The banquet hall has a seating for up to 104 guests at one time. There is also one secret gallery for the musicians.
7. A Signal through the lights
The light system in the Banquet Hall is also built in a smart way. Being above the portraits of former Presidents, it is a signal to the staff of when or when not to serve, or when to clear the hall.
8. Children’s Gallery – “By the Children, For the Children”
There are two galleries for children in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The first one has all the works made by children. The second one has everything which will be of children’s interests.Therefore it said to be ‘By the Children’ and ‘For the Children’.
9. Meet Clumsy, the robotic dog
This interesting gallery has many projects and models related to science. It also has ‘Clumsy’, a robotic dog which looks like a real dog.
10. Change of Guard Ceremony
Every Saturday at 10am, the change of guard takes place, which is a 30-minute ceremony. It is open for everyone to attend with a valid photo ID.
11. The Budhdha statue at Durbar Hall is centuries old
There is a Gautam Buddha Statue in the Durbar Hall, which dates back to 4th century. The level at which it is kept is the same as the height of India Gate.
12. It reaches India Gate
If you go straight from the Durbar Hall, you will reach India Gate, which is a memorial for Indian soldiers and one the best places to visit in Delhi.
13. Meet all the Presidents of India at the Marble Hall
The Marble Hall serves as the museum here and houses the portraits and wax statues of all the previous Presidents of India. It also has the sculptures of the British Viceroys of India before independence.
14. The Kitchen Museum
The foodie in us wonders, where and how is all the food prepared in such a huge mansion? As an answer to this, there is a museum which displays the method and utensils used in the kitchen of our President. It also displays the utensils that were used since 1911, when the capital of India moved from Calcutta to Delhi.
How To Visit?
What is the visit about?
The visit will be comprised of a tour around the premises of the beautiful Rashtrapati Bhavan. The entire visit has been divided into 3 circuits.
1. Main Building (Banquet Hall, Ashok Hall, Durbar Hall, Library and Navchara)
2. The Museum (Clock Tower, The Stables and The Garages)
3. The Gardens (Mughal Gardens, Herbal Gardens, Musical Gardens and Spiritual Gardens)
When can I visit?
Circuit 1 and 3 is open for public to visit on four days in the week: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Though circuit 3 will be open in the months from August to March.
Circuit 2, which has a tour of the Museum, will be open on all days except Monday, throughout the year.
You can visit between 9.00 am to 4.00 pm on these days.
How do I book?
No visitor is allowed without an online booking for the visit. Pre-book your visit here: http://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in/rbtour/
How much do I pay?
Registration charges are Rs. 50 per visitor if you are visiting as an individual. If you are in a group of 30 people, the charges will be Rs. 1200. Entry for children below the age of 8 years is free of cost.
What are the other important things to know?
All the visitors need to carry a valid original photo ID proof. Foreign visitors need to carry the original passport for the identification proof. They will be able to make their visit request with the help of photocopies of the passport.
Entry and exit will be through Gate no. 2 (Rajpath), Gate No. 37 (Hukmi Mai Marg) and Gate No. 38 (Church Road).
Now that you a lot of interesting facts about Rashtrapati Bhavan and about the visit, get your things packed and put your plan into action. But remember to make the online booking first! Let us know about your visit in the comments section.