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  >> Delhi Travel    >>   Sightseeing in New Delhi ( India )

About Rashtrapati Bhavan

The palatial building built on an area of 330 acres with a private garden designed by the illustrious Lutyens, as the official residence of the Viceroy of India during British reign, is now the official residence of the First Citizen of India its President. The imposing structure almost overshadows all other monuments within its vicinity. The architectural wonder is a mixture of Mughal and Western styles. The columns at the front entrance have bells carved into them and Lutyens designed them with the idea that since the bells could not make sounds, the British rule would never come to an end. Rashtrapati Bhawan is the highlight of Lutyens New Delhi and was completed in 1929 at a cost of 12,53,000. The palace has 340 rooms. At one time, 2,000 people were required to look after the building and serve the Viceroy's household. It has an impressive garden called the Mughal Gardens, which is open to the public for a short while in February when the flowers are in full bloom.

Fascinating site to see

In summer the President's Bodyguard changes guard and this can be seen from outside the gate. One can only visit are the Durbar Hall, Ashok Hall, the Dining Room and the Mughal Gardens. The Durbar hall served as a museum for several years until the building, which now houses the National Museum, was constructed. As dawn breaks over the Yamuna, streaks of pale golden rays embrace the tall magnificent granite structures on Rajpath. Rashtrapati Bhavana, the creation of two British architects-Edwin Lautyens and Herbert Baker was completed in 1931. The road down Rajpath is deserted other than a few early morning joggers, and the flutter of a flight of pigeons. The President's Bodyguard (PBG) is the oldest and senior most unit of the Indian Army and the President's personal troops. The Viceroy's Bodyguard split in 1947 with the partition and one third went to Pakistan. On India becoming a Republic in 1950, with Dr. Rajendra Parsad as its first president, it came to be known in its present form as The President's Bodyguard. As it nears 0630 hrs, the sound of music, marching of footsteps and hoof beats arise from within the complex and a contingent of a Rajputana Rifles (Infantry) Battalion and mounted troops of The President's Bodyguard (PBG) accompanied by a brass band in colorful maroon berets of the parachute Regiment, emerge on to Rajpath, marching to the strains of "Vijay Bharat". On every Saturday a ceremonial changing of the guard takes place. Changing of the guard is a military tradition whose origins are lost in antiquity and from time immemorial, guards and sentries at forts, palaces and defense establishments change daily to enable a fresh body of soldiers to take charge. Soldiers of the band and marching contingents are assigned from different regiments for duty over a short period of time in rotation but the mounted troops are permanently stationed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. While the guard at Rashtrapati Bhavan changes daily, every Saturday a traditional military ritual of guard changing is conducted with precision and solemnity at a fixed time and place. The PBG performs dismounted ceremonial duties at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, adding that touch and grandeur without which State functions would lose much of their impressiveness. The spacious plaza at the foot of Rashtrapati Bhawan is known as Vijay Chowk. Rashtrapati Bhawan, is really part of the new urban complex built after King George V announced in 1911 that the British would shift their capital from Calcutta to Delhi. The Old Guard marches off to "Sare Jahan Se Achha". Compliments are paid by the New Guard, which assumes charge and the balance of the New Guard marches off along with band playing "Amar Jawan".












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