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Rashtrapati Bhavan

Quick Facts

Location Built on Raisina Hill, less than a mile from Connaught Place at the western end of Rajpath.
Time to Visit Entry into President House requires official permission.
Preferred Timings Anytime, any day but is out of bound for the visitors.
Day Closed open all days
Admission Fee Free but prior permission required
Photography Charges none (prior permission required)
Nearest Railway Station New Delhi Railway Station
Nearest Metro Station Central Secretariat
Nearest International Airport Indira Gandhi International Airport
Time required for sightseeing 2 hours
Famous As Official Residence of the President of India
Designed By Sir Edwin Lutyens
Special Attraction Change of Guard Ceremony on every Saturday
Best Season February-March
Highlight Mughal Gardens

About Rashtrapati Bhawan

Rashtrapati Bhavan the official residence of the President of India is located in New Delhi. The complete mansion houses 340 rooms which consist of Halls, guest rooms, offices and the President's official residence. The total area of Rashtrapati Bhavan is 320 acres which includes large open spaces, stables, other offices, residences of staffs, bodyguards and most prominent the Mughal Gardens.


The East India Company decided to construct an official residence for the British Viceroy in New Delhi. This decision was taken in Delhi Durbar in 1911 in the wake of shifting of the Indian capital from Calcutta (Kolkata) to Delhi. The administration of the British rule decided to set up a new city by the name New Delhi close to the southern side of Old Delhi in the early 20th century. The British Government decided to build a marvellous building for the Viceroy’s residence. In order to achieve this, more than four thousand acre of land was obtained close to the Central Secretariat. Two of the prominent villages Malcha and Raisina were vacated and the 300 families which lived here were relocated following the Land Acquisition Act of 1894.

The responsibility of building the Viceroy house was given to Edwin Landseer Lutyens, the popular British architect. He was a prominent member of the city-planning project. The building plans and sketches for the Palace were sent by Lutyens to Herbert Baker on 14th June 1912. The completed structure of the palace was the exact replica of the sketches sent by Lutyens. Lutyens created the sketches by using Indian form of architecture and colours. He was greatly inspired by the Indian architecture and this is clearly visible in the Rashtrapathi Bhavan building. Lutyens and Baker were the two prominent people involved in the project of Secretariats and Viceroy's House. They began the work on friendly terms. As per the original plan, the Viceroy House was planned to be constructed on top of Raisina Hill and the secretariats below at a lower location. However, due to some changes in the plan it was later decided to accommodate both the buildings on the plateau by moving the viceroy house 400 yards back. Lutyens strongly wanted the Viceroy's house to be at the highest location, but he was not allowed to go ahead with his plan and was forced to move it back. This decision created a rift between both and ultimately resulted in a dispute. Once the construction work was completed, Lutyens argued with Baker that the front view of the building was getting obstructed due to the high angle of the road.

Lutyens tried all possible way to make the necessary alterations but failed. He strongly wanted to design a long inclined grade to the entire way till Viceroy's residence containing retaining walls on either side. This was intended to give a better view of the house from a distant point. However, Lutyen suffered the shock of his life when the Imperial Delhi committee cancelled his proposal to vary the gradient. He started believing that Baker was absorbed in money making tactics and satisfying the government rather than concentrating on construction of an excellent architectural design.

Lutyens had to travel frequently between England and India for almost two decades as he was given the responsibility of building the Viceroy house in both the countries. Also, the building size was reduced by 1/4th that existed as per the plan due to financial restrictions by Lord Hardinge. Even though he had asked to reduce the expenditures on the construction, he did not want the ceremonial grandeur of this majestic building to be reduced.

C Rajagopalachari became the first Indian viceroy of Independent India. He preferred to occupy some of the rooms which are now being used as the family wing of President. He also got the Viceroy's apartments converted into Guest Wing which are now being used by the Heads of State and VVIP dignitaries on their visit to India.

India became republic on 26th January 1950 and Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of Independent India. He resided in this building and it was renamed as Rashtrapati Bhavan or the President's House.

Places to Visit near Rashtrapati Bhawan

  • India Gate
  • Parliament House
  • National Museum
  • Jantar Mantar
  • Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
  • Hanuman Mandir

How to Reach Rashtrapati Bhavan

The best way to reach Rashtrapathi Bhavan is by Delhi Metro service. The nearest Metro station is Central Secretariat. Tourists can hire an auto rickshaw or walk down from Central Secretariat to reach Rashtrapati Bhavan.


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