Presidential Palace - Rashtrapati Bhawan, Delhi

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 Reviews

Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, DL 110004, India +91 11 2301 5321
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    Presidential Palace complex

    by toonsarah Written Nov 17, 2015

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    The Presidential Palace was originally built as a residence for the British Viceroy during the era of the British Raj, following the 1910 move of the capital from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Delhi. It was at this time that the new city of New Delhi was developed, just to the south of what became known as Old Delhi. Of course it was important at that time to assert the role of the Viceroy and thus a prominent building was needed. To achieve this, 4,000 acres of land were acquired by the simple measure of relocating two villages (300 families) and Edwin Lutyens, responsible for the architecture of so much of New Delhi, commissioned to design a building worthy of a British ruler. The resulting structure, classical in design but incorporating many elements inspired by Indian architecture, dominates the plateau on which it sits, Raisina Hill. It is however set back from the edge, after Lutyens lost an argument about the placing of the Palace and had to move it back to accommodate the buildings that now flank it on either side. This means it is not visible from the foot of the hill – something he considered a fault but which I felt gave the building an interesting element of surprise as you crest the hill and see the scale of the complex of buildings that greet you. You approach along a wide avenue, Rajpath (the King’s Way), which links the palace to the India Gate two kilometres away. Either side of this avenue are the north and south buildings of the Secretariat, designed by Herbert Baker. It was these structures that caused Lutyen’s design for the plateau to be modified and the palace moved back from the edge. Today they house various government offices and ministries including Finance and Foreign Affairs.

    Since 1950, when the first President of a now independent India took up residence here, it was renamed as the President’s Palace or Rashtrapati Bhavan. In area this was the largest residence of a Head of State in the world until the Presidential Complex of Turkey was opened on 29th October 2014. It has 340 rooms spread over four floors and covers 200,000 square feet (19,000 square metres). The original plans were for a classically European building (Lutyens had little respect for the local architectural traditions which he once dismissed as “Moghul tosh”). Fortunately he was over-ruled and added features such as Rajasthani-inspired sandstone window grilles (known as jaalis), statues of elephants and cobras. Baker’s designs for the Secretariat buildings similarly include Indian elements and are made from the same cream and red sandstone. The columns in front of these (one can be seen in photo three) are known as Dominion Columns and were gifts from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. At the time it was expected that India would, like these countries, soon become a British Dominion, but instead it was to win independence within 18 years from the date of the buildings’ completion.

    The palace is surrounded by gardens, which are open to the public only in February and March, so we couldn’t visit these, and we also didn’t go inside to see the museum which focuses on the architecture of the building and on the lives of past presidents. But this made an interesting photo stop, and came with a bonus. Although Chris has never owned or ridden a motorbike himself, his father was great biker and Chris has inherited something of his affection for the great makes such as BSA and Royal Enfield – the latter being originally a British company but made in India since the 1950s and exclusively there since 1971. He was very happy when the owner of a classic Royal Enfield bike, parked in front of the Presidential Palace, let him pose with it for some photos – see photo five (and no, this wasn’t a “pose in return for payment” staged photo opp!) We were also interested to learn that the beautiful ornamental iron gates in front of the palace were copied by Lutyens from some he saw in Chiswick, very near our London home.

    Next tip: the India Gate.

    Address: Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, DL 110004,

    Directions: Nearest Metro stop is Central Secretariat, or any guided tour is, like ours, likely to stop here

    Website: http://presidentofindia.gov.in/rashtrapati-bhavan.htm

    Dominion Column In front of the North Secretariat Chris plus Royal Enfield
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  • ukirsari's Profile Photo

    Rashtrapati Bhavan and Jaipur Column

    by ukirsari Updated Aug 23, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The presidential palace for the president of India. The architect is Edwin Lutyens, located at Raisina Hill. From this place can be seen Government buildings in north and south blocks. More details in my New Delhi page.

    Address: In the end of Raisina Road and Motilal Nehru Road

    Directions: central delhi, close to connaught place and india gate. the parliament building can also be seen from here.

    Phone: (011) 3015321

    Rashtrapati Bhavan (c) ukirsari
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    the Presidential Palace

    by call_me_rhia Updated Aug 26, 2003

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    The Presidential Palace is a beautiful palace built possibly the the English during their occupation of India. The photo cannot do it justice - and there's a reason... fearing terrorist attacks it's now impossible to stop in front of the palace and take photos. Even buses cannot stop anymore.. they can just drive on nearby slowly.. hence I missed an interesting part of the Palace... and yet, it's a pretty sight

    Directions: in New Delhi, near the Embassy district

    the palace

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    Rashtrapati Bhavan/ North-South Block

    by husain Updated Mar 10, 2007

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    Built by the British architect Sir Edwin L. Lutyens and completed in 1929, this palatial building on the Raisina hill was formerly called the Viceregal Lodge. After India got its independence, the name was changed to `Government house' and then after being declared a Republic', on the 26th of August 1950, the building was renamed `Rashtrapati Bhavan' (President's palace). This palatial complex has 340 rooms, and has a floor area of 200,000 square feet!
    The architecture has elements borrowed from Indian and European styles. The distinctive dome at the front of the structure, is said to have been inspired from the Stupa at Sanchi. You can see the `Jaipur Column' standing tall just beyond the front gate. Its a 44 meter high column and the reason its got its name is that the Maharaja of jaipur bore its cost
    The President stays in whats refered to as the `Family Wing', while the `Guest Wing' is where the Heads of State of other countries stay during their visit to India.

    The North and South block buildings are the seat of power in India. This is where the central Government houses most of its ministries and offices of the Defence forces.
    The 'Rashtrapati Bhawan' is at the end of 'Rajpath', the road that connects it to 'India Gate'. .
    Though these are official-government buildings, you can hang around this area. Just be a little careful not to stray too much in the direction of `South Block'. Thats the Ministry of Defence offices, and the guards can get a bit edgy...

    Directions: Central Delhi, near Connaught Place and India Gate.

    Website: http://presidentofindia.nic.in

    Changing of the Guard ceremony North/South block buildings The Gate to Rashtrapati Bhavan North Block Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Jaipur column
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  • Rupanworld's Profile Photo

    President's palace

    by Rupanworld Written Jan 17, 2009

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    President's palace or the Rashtrapati Bhavan situated on the Rajpath is the official residence of the President of India. Until 1950, when India became a republic, it was known as "Viceroy's House" and was being used as the residence of the Governor-General of India.

    Address: Rajpath

    Directions: central delhi, close to connaught place and india gate. the parliament building can also be seen from here.

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  • RAJASTHANBYCAR's Profile Photo

    President Palace/Rashtrapati Bhavan

    by RAJASTHANBYCAR Updated Sep 11, 2006

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    Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India, nestled on the magnificent Raisina Hill, was built as the residence of the Viceroy during the British rule.The first occupant of the palatial building with 340 rooms was Lord Irwin. Designed again by Lutyens, it has a large court and a garden which is open to the public for a short while in February when the flowers are in full bloom. The garden is terraced and resembles the Mughal Gardens in Srinagar, Kashmir.
    Lying under the main dome is the elegant Durbar Hall which is the venue for all the official functions of the President.The columns at the front entrance have bells carved into them and Lutyens designed them with the idea that since the bells could not make sounds, the British rule would never come to an end. If they could make sounds, then that would mean the end of the Empire which he did not want.
    The Durbar hall served as a museum for several years until the building which now houses the National Museum was constructed.Every saturday between 10.35 a.m. to 11.10 a.m. in winter and 8.30 a.m. to 9.15 a.m. in summer the President's Bodyguard changes guard and this can be seen from outside the gate. One wishing to visit the building can do so by contacting the deputy Military Secretary to The President. The only points one can visit are the Durbar Hall, Ashok Hall, the Dining Room and the Mughal Gardens.

    Directions: central delhi, close to connaught place and india gate. the parliament building can also be seen from here.

    Website: http://www.presidentofindia.nic.in

    President Palace Ornate iron gates leading to Rashtrapti Bhavan North Block President Palace Way to President House North Block
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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Rashtrapati Bhavan: President's Residence

    by Donna_in_India Written Oct 29, 2011

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    Rashtrapati Bhavan is another one of Edwin Lutyen's designs - one of the largest Raj buildings he designed. It was originally built as the British Viceroy's Palace. It was renamed Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1950 after India's independence and is now the official residence of the President of India.

    The building itself took over 17 years to complete (it was completed in 1929) and at one time there were 29,000 people working on the site. Three million cubic feet of stone and 700 million bricks went into the construction. Rashtrapati Bhavan is 1 km. around the foundation - with a floor area of 200,000 square feet - 340 rooms on four floors.

    The building has red sandstone (similar to so many of the Mughal buildings), classical columns, and Indian filigree work. But the most distinguished feature is its huge Mughal-style dome, called Chhatri, which is visible from quite a distance. Under the dome is the main hall, Durbar Hall. The hall measures almost 23m in diameter and is where the President hosts official functions.

    Although the apartments inside are strictly private, according to the sign outside the beautiful iron gates, you can request permission from the Deputy Minister Secretary to the President to visit Rashtrapati Bhavan (fax your request to the number below). Whether or not that's true, you can visit the colorful gardens for two weeks in February/March, depending upon the arrival of spring. We were not fortunate to be there at that time but it is said that the gardens are spectacular.

    Address: Situated on Raisina hill

    Directions: New Delhi, close to India Gate.

    Phone: 011 23015321 ext. 4229 & 4779

    Website: http://presidentofindia.nic.in/rb.html

    Rashtrapati Bhavan Rashtrapati Bhavan Gates outside Rashtrapati Bhavan Sandstone Gateposts leading to Rashtrapati Bhavan Sandstone Gateposts leading to Rashtrapati Bhavan
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  • Bernd_L's Profile Photo

    Palace of the Indian President

    by Bernd_L Written Jan 19, 2014

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    This impressive building was once the palace of the british vice king and is now the seat of the Indian President. The building is located in a huge garden. It can't be visited because it's not open to the public.

    Next to the gate are several government buildings such as the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of finance.

    Directions: central delhi, close to connaught place and india gate. the parliament building can also be seen from here.

    Entrance to the Rashtrapati Bhawan Indias ministry of finance

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  • chizz's Profile Photo

    Presidential Palace, Delhi

    by chizz Updated Jul 21, 2008

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    Near to India Gate you can wander to take a look at the Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhavan which was designed by Edwin Lutyen and built in 1931. It covers 4.5 acres of land and has 340 rooms, 37 salons, 74 lobbies, 18 staircases and 37 fountains. Can only be viewed from the outside, but photos can be taken.

    Address: Rajpath, Central Delhi

    Directions: Opp. India Gate (15 min walk away). Nearest metro is Central Secretariat.

    Parliament building, Delhi Parliament building, Delhi

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    'Rajpath', the road that leads...

    by j-san Written Aug 26, 2002

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    'Rajpath', the road that leads to the 'rashtrapati bhawan', or the presidential palace.

    this part of town is the heart of what is known as 'Lutyens' Delhi', the Imperial city of New Delhi, as envisaged by the British architect Edward Lutyens.

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  • Archie_Oak's Profile Photo

    Rashtrapati BhavanThis is a...

    by Archie_Oak Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Rashtrapati Bhavan
    This is a beautiful place with Victorian style of construction and large amazing gardens....There is a huge Rose Garden as well
    This is India's President's House
    You must visit this place during late evening...with such a fabulous lighting all around the place...Although you are not allowed to go anywhere near by the building

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Presidential House

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 9, 2007

    Rashtrapati Bhavan is located at the far western end of Raypath and is the official residence of the President of India. Built on a very large scale - 600 meters long and 180 meters wide - it was the former residence of the Viceroy of India during the British Raj. Lord Irwin was the first occupant of this building. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and built on Raisina hill, which he saw as an Indian Acropolis with the Viceroy's house as the Pantheon. Bigger than any palace of Indian princes and one of the biggest palaces of the world, it has a large court to its front and a Mughal style garden at its back. Built in a neo-classical style, it has 340 large rooms, 37 salons, 74 lobbies and loggias, 18 staircases and 37 fountains. The iron gates, (which is as far as you can go), are copied from a pair that Lutyens saw in Chiswick, England.

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  • Folbi's Profile Photo

    President's House

    by Folbi Updated Mar 12, 2005

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    Not worth going inside. Only to be seen from outside. At the top of the street leading to India Gate. A lot of wild monkeys stroll in the streets nereby

    Directions: central delhi, close to connaught place and india gate. the parliament building can also be seen from here.

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