Sunday, January 20, 2013

Inside the Rashtrapati Bhawan


When I returned from my college trip a few days back, my uncle and aunt had a surprise waiting for me- A visit to the interiors of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. I have seen pictures of a couple of friends of mine in the media who have visited the place and seeing their photos has always been a mark of envy. I had never imagined that a ‘tourist’ visit like this to the Rashtrapati Bhawan is allowed or even possible. I desperately looked forward to the D-day.

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Forecourt Area (1)
When I met a few friends of mine a day before the big day and gave them this news, the reaction I got was expected: Aaj se tu mera dost nahi! Haha… I convinced them that we can make a plan, get the permission and visit the place anytime over the coming weeks, but they had the obvious feeling of envy.

I had never been inside the Rashtrapati Bhawan but I have been to its surroundings a couple of times- Once, for the Nature Trail in the President’s Estates and the second time, a visit to the Mughal Gardens. Both of these were in early 2009. Wondering what is inside that huge 340 room house is something that anyone who doesn’t see it, wonders.

I started clicking pictures as soon as the huge house was in sight. I didn’t want to miss out on a single opportunity till the moment the camera is snatched away from me. This yes-camera region was too limited of course. We were allowed to click photographs in the forecourt area, near the Jaipur column, the huge front staircase leading to the Durbar Hall and the visitor’s reception and waiting area. And so we clicked. Take a look…

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Entry via Gate 2

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Forecourt Area (2)

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Forecourt Area (3)

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Jaipur Column, Forecourt Area

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Forecourt Area (4)

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Forecourt Area (5)

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Forecourt Area (6)

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Stairs leading to the Durbar Hall (1)

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Stairs leading to the Durbar Hall (2)

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Entry to Reception

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Reception Hall

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Inside Reception Hall. Portraits of all Indian Presidents

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Inside Reception Hall.  3D wall painting of the building

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Inside Reception Hall. . The Curio Shop
The guided tour included visiting the Marble hall, kitchen museum, Ashoka Hall, Banquet Hall, Durbar Hall, Library, Museum and the Mughal Gardens. I never imagined that the building was so huge in size from inside. So many of the features reminded me of scenes from Harry Potter movies, the most prominent being the marble staircase. One can unmistakably notice the similarity in the French-British architecture of the Hogwarts castle and Rashtrapati Bhawan in innumerous settings.

Although nobody got a pact signed by me for not divulging information regarding how things are inside the walls of the biggest residential house in the country, I would personally prefer not to talk about it because I am sure the majority of my blog readers wouldn’t want the surprise to be spoiled for them. So guys, if you haven’t been there yet, take the opportunity now. Get the permission (which is not at all difficult to get if you are not a fraud) and visit the Rashtrapati Bhawan before any reason shuts the gate for us. But until you do that, envy me! Haha…

P.S.: I hope you enjoyed seeing the photos and the exterior of the building so close-up.

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