The Presidential Palace or the President House, known as Rashtrapati Bhavan in Hindi, is the official residence of the President of India. This vast mansion is located in the West end of Parliament Street in New Delhi, the capital of India.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan is one of the largest residential houses of any Head of the State in the world in terms of its size, vastness and its magnificence. This marvelous piece of the British era was the residence of the Viceroy of India till the year 1950 and was known as the Viceroy's House.
The breathtaking architecture of Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, a British architech, along with Chief architect and Chief Engineer Hugh Keeling and many Indian contractors.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan was officially inaugurated in the year 1931 and was constructed at a cost of 877,136 pounds (Rs. 12.8 million). The Rashtrapati Bhavan was built with a floor space of 200 000 square feet and has four floors and 340 rooms. There are over 54 bedrooms together with additional accommodation for guests in the President House. The entire building was construted using 700 million bricks and three million cubic feet of stones. Interestingly, there were hardly any steel used to construct the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Another interesting fact about the Rashtrapati Bhavan is that the building, which was supposed to have completed in four years took a rather long time of over seventeen years to get completed and just after one year of its completion, India got its independence.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan of India is perhaps one of the best known monuments of the country and one of the most significant achievements of Sir Lutyens. It is a magnum opus of symmetry, discipline, outline, colour and harmony. Lord Irwin was the first occupant of the Palace. The architecture of the House combines Mughal and Western architectural styles.
Towards the west of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, lies the huge Mughal garden designed again by Sir Lutyens. This beautiful garden has flowers and shrubs, along with series of decorative fountains that make it all the more attractive. The Mughal Garden is home to countless lovely flowers including some species of exotic roses, which simply cheer up the ambience. The garden opens for public every spring during the months of February and March amidst tight security.
The Rashtrapati Bhawan can be reached through taxis or autoriskshaws from any part of the city. Enter to the Rashtrapati Bhavan is banned without permission and the permits to visit the Bhawan can be obtained from the reception office on Raisina Road.
The most appropraite time to visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan is during February, so that you can also get a chance to see the colourful medley of flowers at the Mughal Gardens.