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Rashtrapati Bhavan: What Lies Behind The Gates

    President's Estate, Delhi

    One of the most filmed roads in the capital is Rajpath. That’s the one with the north and the south block on each side, and the Rashtrapati Bhavan standing tall at the end of the road. On a normal visit, you will not be allowed to go past the barricades with armed policemen. Ever wondered what’s behind the gates, in the 320 acre, 340-room official home of the President of India?

    We recently had the pleasure of taking a tour. Here are three things to look forward to when you’re inside.

    Durbar Hall

    The Durbar Hall, or the Throne Room as the British called it, is a hall used for the conferring of Padma Awards by the President. It is the same place where Nehru and Prasad took their oaths. One can’t miss the imposing statue of Gautam Buddha {belonging to the Gupta period, fifth century AD} right behind the chair where the ceremony takes place. This place truly has been a witness to milestones in Indian political history

    Ashoka Hall

    This Persian-style painted hall will really take your breath away. We felt like we were inside a giant jewellery box. The 105 feet by 65 feet room has a wooden dance floor with springs underneath; it was used as a ballroom in colonial times. This room is now used for holding ceremonial functions, such as the presentation of credentials by the heads of Missions of foreign countries and the swearing-in of ministers.

    Mughal Gardens

    Although one can only visit the Mughal gardens during February to March, if you book a Rashtrapati Bhavan visit and you’re lucky, the guide might just take you for a stroll. The Mughal Gardens, along with the iconic building, was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyen on the lines of the Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh in Kashmir.

    This is one visit that will leave you awe-struck right from the time you enter the gate until the time you exit. Gazing at the Indian flag waving ever so high above us and Rang De Basanti track playing in our heads, we couldn’t help but feel a dash of pride at being part of the biggest democracy in the world.


    Remember to take your identity card, and leave your bags, phones, and other electronic items in the car or at the counter.


      President's Estate, Delhi