The Plan of Rashtrapati Bhavan : The official home of the President of India
The Plan of Rashtrapati Bhavan (The official home of the President of India)
Jul 23, 2012 11:31 IST
- Rashtrapati Bhawan is the house of the President of India. It is a real masterpiece that was built in the British period. It is the focal point of New Delhi and situated in the Raisina Hills.
- The plan of the building is designed around a massive square with multiple courtyards and open inner areas within. The plan called for two wings; one for the Viceroy and residents and another for guests.
- The residence wing is a separate four-storey house in itself, with its own court areas within. This wing was so large that the first Indian governor-general, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, opted to live the smaller guest wing, a tradition that has since been followed by subsequent presidents. The original residence wing is now used primarily for state receptions and as a guest wing for visiting heads of state.
- The centre of the main wing of the building, underneath the main dome, is the Durbar Hall, which was known as the Throne Room during British rule when it had thrones for the Viceroy and Vicereine (his wife). The interior of this room and almost all the rooms of the palace are bare, relying on stonework and shapes to show austerity rather than intricate decoration.
- In the hall, the columns are made in Delhi order which combines vertical lines with the motif of a bell. The vertical lines from the column were also used in the frieze around the room, which could not have been done with one of the traditional Greek orders of columns. The hall has a 2-ton chandelier which hangs from a 33-metre height. The two state drawing rooms, the state supper room and the state library are each on the four corners of the hall. There are also other rooms such as many loggias (galleries with open air on one side) which face out into the courtyards, a large dining hall with an extremely long table, sitting rooms, billiards rooms, and a large ball room, and staircases.
- Water features are also through the palace, such as near the Viceroy's stairs, which has eight marble lion statues spilling water into six basins. These lions were symbolic of the heraldry of Great Britain. There is also an open area in one room to the sky, which lets in much of the natural light.