Visiting Rashtrapati Bhavan
Can we really visit President’s house? Looking for the answer, a “Yes” got me into a eureka moment. As the online tickets got booked, I exclaimed with ecstasy over visiting Rashtrapati Bhavan for our given slot. It was 10:00 am, the time we were given on a Saturday morning to witness the President’s home, of the world’s largest democracy.
With the feelings of being honored at the chance, we were right in time to enter through Gate 2. This grand H shaped architecture was built by the famous British architects, Edwin Lutyens, and Herbert Baker, spanning 5 acres. The then “Viceroy House”, the final building was ready in 1929, and served as home to Viceroy Lord Irwin, till Lord Mountbatten, after which India gained its Independence. It was named as “Rashtrapati Bhavan” when the term of first President of Independent India Dr.Rajendra Prasad.
This palatial building, comprises of 340 rooms, including President’s working office, guest rooms, reception halls. It houses the most famous Mughal Gardens, which are a flowery treat to the visitors.
Our tour to President House of India: Rashtrapati Bhavan
After passing through two levels of security, we were asked to switch off our mobiles and hand over the phones at the security. Yes, phones are not allowed after the reception, as the tour starts.
The inside of Rashtrapati Bhavan is basically divided into 3 parts :
Circuit 1, Circuit 2 and Circuit 3.
When we visited in 2018, the tour started with a set up by Intel, showcasing young Innovators and some innovations. The main guided tour started right after that in groups.
Circuit 1 :
This is the main portion of this magnificent building, which houses Ashok Hall, Durbar Hall, Banquet Hall, North Drawing Room, Library and few more.
Witnessing a large Rashtrapati Bhavan Model, right in the beginning at Marble Hall, got us really excited on the history of this Viceroy house. This hall showcased the brass replica of the crown of Queen. Marble Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan displays rare and amazing portraits of British Royalty. Various artifacts and the life-size marble statues of King George V and Queen Mary leaves you stunned for sure.
It also displays various gifts that were received by various President’s of India during their visits globally.
This hall of President’s house is used to host dinners. It has a long dining table in the center and we were informed that it has the capacity to host around 104 people together for dinner. Isn’t that huge? Well arranged chairs on either side of the table, it also has an orchestra for music during the dinner.
After Banquet hall, our next stop was Ashoka Hall, which is one of the most prominent halls of Rashtrapati Bhavan. This hall simply took my breath away. This beautiful wooden floored room was used as ballroom during the Britisher’s reign. The roof has beautiful Fresco paintings with Persian poetry. This room is was also used for award ceremonies, oath swearing-in of ministers.
Following here is the North Drawing room, which is important from the aspect of what we see in media. This is the room, where Foreign dignitaries are first received by the President of India.
Visiting the Rashtrapati Bhavan library brings in the history alive in front of you. The historical audiovisual collection, the first R-Day parade, collection of 2000 rare books, left me imagining 1940’s and 50’s which I never witnessed. Overall, we were informed that it has a collection of more than 30,000 books. The oldest book it has was published in 1795. Completely amazed, with the so much history it had to offer. (which came live with the audio-visual arrangements, the portraits, and the books).
The huge chandelier, gave it a shimmering look, as we entered this significant hall of The President’s house. Did you know that Durbar Hall was the place where India’s First PM and President, took their oath. Presently, a single throne-like chair is kept here for the President. We were told that the thick line which runs through the center exactly divide this mansion into two equal parts. Just behind this chair, is an imposing statue of Lord Buddha. This building is built on Raisina Hills and its elevation can be ascertained from the fact that the top of India Gate lies at the level of feet of Buddha’s statue placed at Durbar Hall. This hall has a capacity of 500 rooms and holds a great historical significance.
The last part turns into the beautiful Mughal gardens. We had already toured into this floral zone early in the winters the same year.
With this, this magnificent trip came to an end, with a feeling of pride and honor at the same time.
- Circuit 1 opens from Thursday to Sunday, while Circuit 2, which houses Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex, opens all days except Monday.
- You can book a visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan via online booking here
- Entry timings are 9 am to 4 pm, you can select the time basis your convenience. Early morning slots are preferred!
- Having a valid ID proof (Photo ID) is mandatory. For Foreigners, carry a passport for verification.
- Entry fees is Rs50 per adult (more than 8 years)
- You can also have the privilege to witness Change of guard ceremony(free of cost), which takes place every Saturday and Sunday. Check out for details of timings here
7. There is a Cafe at reception, and you can get water bottles and cold drinks here.
8. Souvenirs can be bought from any of the three Curio Shops at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
If you’re in Delhi, don’t miss the chance to explore this historical grandeur!
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