Rashtrapati Bhavan or President House is an official residence of the President of India. Located at West end of Parliament Street in New Delhi, Rashtrapati Bhavan is one of the largest residential houses of any Head of the State in the world in terms of its area, immensity and grandeur. This massive mansion was designed by a British architect named Sir Edwin Lutyens. However, the Chief Engineer, Hugh Keeling and many Indian contractors were also part of its designing and construction. It was officially inaugurated in the year 1931. The total cost of building this marvelous piece of architecture was of Rs 877,136 pounds (Rs. 12.8 million). With having a floor space of 200000 sq ft, Rashtrapati Bhavan has four floors and 340 rooms. The hugeness of this mansion can be noticed with the fact that it has more than 54 bedrooms together with additional accommodation for guests. It is said that over 700 million bricks and three million cubic feet of stones were used in the construction of Rashtrapati Bhavan. There has been no steel used in its construction.
During 1950, it was the residence of the Viceroy of India therefore it was called as the Viceroy’s House during that time. There are so many surprises and interesting facts associated with Rashtrapati Bhavan. The building of this mansion was supposed to be constructed in four years but it took a long 17 years and one year later of its construction, India got its independence. There is no doubt in saying that it is one of the best artistic works of Sir Lutyens. The Rashtrapati Bhavan is a magnum opus of equilibrium, discipline, outline, colour and concord. With the combination of the architectural work of Mughal and British era, it is undoubtedly one of the best known monuments of the country. The first occupant of this mansion was Lord Irwin.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan also comprises a huge Mughal garden at the west of its main building that too designed by Sir Lutyens. This lovely and attractive garden has a number of diverse flowers and shrubs, along with exquisite fountains which make it more beautiful. There are innumerable of beautiful flowers including different species of colorful roses that make entire surrounding simply amazing. Amidst tight security, the garden opens for public during the months of February and March.
Reaching Rashtrapati Bhavan is quite easy. The nearest metro station is Central Secretariat. People can also take auto, taxi or city buses to reach there. However, the entry is strictly banned in the Rashtrapati Bhavan but visitors are allowed visit its outer gate. The reception office of Rashtrapati Bhavan is at Raisina Hill. From its main gate towards east, the view of Rajpath till India Gate is magnificent. The best time to visit this master piece is January and February because during this time, one can get a chance to visit Mughal Garden.