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The Rashtrapati Bhavan , “Presidential Residence” is the official home of the President of India, located in New delhi, India, . It may refer to only the mansion (the 340-room main building) that has the President’s official residence, halls, guest rooms and offices; it may also refer to the entire 130 hectare (320 acre) President Estate that additionally includes huge presidential gardens (Mughal Gardens), large open spaces, residences of bodyguards and staff, stables, other offices and utilities within its perimeter walls. The main palace building was formerly known as Viceroy’s House. In terms of area, was the largest residence of a Head of State in the world until the Presidential Complex of Turkey opened 29 October 2014.
The decision to build a residence in New Delhi for the British Viceroy was taken after it was decided during the Delhi Durbar in 1910 that the capital of India would be relocated from Calcutta (Kolkata) to Delhi. When the plan for a new city, New Delhi, adjacent to and south of Old Delhi, was developed in the beginning of the 20th century, the new palace for the Viceroy of India was given an enormous size and prominent position.
Consisting of four floors and 340 rooms, with a floor area of 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2), it was built using 700 million bricks and 3,000,000 cu ft (85,000 m3) of stone with little steel.
When Chakravarti Rajagopalachari assumed the office as the first Governor General of India and became the occupant of this building he preferred to stay in a few rooms which is now the family wing of the President and converted the then Viceroy’s apartments into the Guest Wing where visiting Heads of State stay while in India.
On 26 January 1950, when Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India and occupied this building, it was renamed as Rashtrapati Bhavan – the President’s House.
The Mughal Gardens are situated at the back of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, incorporate both Mughal and English landscaping styles and feature a great variety of flowers. The Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens are open to the public in February every year.
Main garden: Two channels running North to South and two running East to West divide this garden into a grid of squares. There are six lotus shaped fountains at the crossings of these channels. Whereas the energetic fountains rising up to a height of 12 feet (3.7 m) create a soothing murmur that enthralls the visitor, the channels are so tranquil in their movement that they seem frozen. In the channels at appropriate times of day can be seen reflections of the imposing building and the proud flowers. There are wooden trays placed on stands in the centre of the channels where grain is put for the birds to feed upon.
Terrace garden: There are two longitudinal strips of garden, at a higher level on each side of the Main Garden, forming the Northern and Southern boundaries. The plants grown are the same as in the Main Garden. At the centre of both of the strips is a fountain, which falls inwards, forming a well. On the Western tips are located two gazebos and on the Eastern tips two ornately designed sentry posts.
Long Garden or the ‘Purdha Garden’: This is located to the West of the Main Garden, and runs along on each side of the central pavement which goes to the circular garden. Enclosed in walls about 12 feet high, this is predominantly a rose garden. It has 16 square rose beds encased in low hedges. There is a red sandstone pergola in the centre over the central pavement which is covered with Rose creepers, Petrea, Bougainvillea and Grape Vines. The walls are covered with creepers like Jasmine, Rhyncospermum, Tecoma Grandiflora, Bignonia Vanista, Adenoclyma, Echitice, Parana Paniculata. Along the walls are planted the China Orange trees.
Around the circular garden there are rooms for the office of the horticulturist, a green house, stores, nursery etc. Here is housed the collection of Bonsais, one of the best in the country.
All the presidents who have stayed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan have taken a keen interest in the maintenance and upkeep of the Mughal Gardens. All have contributed in their own way. The underlying themes, however, have remained unaltered.
In July 2014, a museum inside Rashtrapati Bhavan was inaugurated by President of India Pranab Mukherjee. The museum helps visitors to get an inside view of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, its art, architecture and get educated about lives of past presidents.
Source : Wikipedia
For online booking for entry to Rashtrapati Bhavan
Change Of Guard
Change of Guard is a military tradition whose origins are lost in antiquity. From time immemorial, guards and sentries at palaces, forts and defence establishments change periodically to enable a fresh body of troops take charge.
The change of Guard ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan was first opened to the public in 2007. Later the ceremony has been revamped and relocated to make it more visually appealing and public friendly. An equestrian display by the Presidents’ Body Guard (PBG) in their ceremonial regalia has been added and the venue has been shifted to the Forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, with easier public access.
The equestrian display presents the horse and man in ceremonial regalia in harmony with the music of a military brass band. The 30 minute ceremony commences with the PBG troops, astride their caparisoned, sleekly muscled, powerful and well groomed steeds advancing from behind the Jaipur column to the tune of ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’ played by the Army Brass Band. The Army Guard contingent then marches in and the new guard replaces the old guard.
The day’s ceremony ends with an equestrian display by the PBG before they ride away towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan and playing of the National Anthem.
Source : presidentofindia.nic.in
Timings: Summer : Saturday 8.00 AM to 8.40 AM and Winter : Saturday 10.00 AM to 10.40 AM
The ceremony will be held every Saturday at 10 a.m. It will be open to the public, who will only have to produce a photo identity card at the place of entry to Rashtrapati Bhavan from gate no.2, near the Prime Minister’s Office.
Visiting Mughal Gardens
The Mughal gardens will be open for the public from February to March , except on Mondays, which are maintenance days, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Entry and exit into the gardens for the public will be from Gate 35 of the President’s Estate, which is located at the extreme end of the Church Road. Visitors are barred from carrying water bottles, briefcases, handbags/ladies’ purses, cameras, radios/transistors, cell phones, umbrellas, eatables. There will be special days when the gardens are open exclusively for farmers , differently-abled and visually challenged.
Mughal Gardens are open for public from Feb-2017 to March-2017 from 10am to 4pm. please confirm the date before visiting Mughal Gardens 2016.
Entry Fee : Free