Sunday, January 17, 2010

A visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan

Many a times I have crossed Rashtrapati Bhawan and every time I saw, I wanted to transcend. It looks huge and beautiful from outside but being a civilian I was obstructed to walk in. This time a friend bestowed me an opportunity to have an explicit view of the place. The only sad part was that the cameras and mobile phones were not allowed inside so all I could click was the exterior of the Bhawan. I wanted to capture so many things there but unfortunately I had to feed it all in my memory which is already overloaded. Thankfully we were allotted an attendant who told many informative things and showed every allowed nook and corner with ease. Without him, I seriously would have been lost in the enormity of the space.

So there I was on the spree of exploring that prominent and perplexing place. We began with ‘Durbar Hall’ where all the ministers gather to take an oath. The President’s chair is positioned in front of Lord Buddha’s statue that was found in 15th century. Though the statue looks a bit wrecked but the significance compensates it all. The wonderful part is that a straight road from the hall connects to India Gate. Then came the ‘Ashoka Hall’ that has a wooden floor and this hall was initially a ball room. I loved that hall the most as it has strikingly attractive paintings all over. The king on the ceiling kept a constant eye on me where ever I went.

The calm and soothing passage then lead us to the dining room that accommodates more than a hundred people. As what I have known and seen, the head always sits in the front single chair but here the President’s chair is positioned in the middle. The chair confronting hers is the chair for the guest President. Yes these two chairs are larger than the others to make the difference visible from a distance. There are two British Pianos in the entire Bhawan and I played whatever little I know on one of them.

The plush museums have their own charm. The art museum has the paintings of the Kings and Queens and the one thing that stands out is the marbled statue of Queen Mary of her original and impeccable height. I stood on my toes and still could not reach her shoulder. She looks so divine, stunning and live. Down there is the ancient kitchen with an assortment of olden utensils that gives one a feel of those times. There is an interesting crockery that has the capability of detecting acid and henceforth changes its original color.

At last I saw the spick and span gardens ‘Mughal Garden’ and ‘Rose Garden’ that have almost all the flowers and half of them were blossomed. The best time to see these gardens in full bloom is February and at that time it is open for civilians. The Mughal Garden is surrounded by a tennis court and a wide park reserved for rabbits, deer, geese and hens. The Rose Garden has a variety of roses in different colors that make it look splendid.

It was certainly an enjoyable and a worth visit.


samitmehra said...

Hey Nish,

Now this one is an interesting post. Wow U actually went inside? I like the attention U have paid to the smallest detail and that U actually remember it.

Now even if U forget, U can come back to ur blog and refer. Also others who wanna go there can first get a sneak preview here.

Wish U cud have taken the camera inside, so we could have seen more of the inside.

And U knowing the piano is news..... What other hidden talents do U have madam?

Shine Kapoor said...

Heya thats great! I have been hearing a lot about the Mughal Garden since childhood, but did not visit the place as yet. Lets plan going there this feb ;)??

Great that you visited the palace, now I know you have loads of stories to tell me :)