Issue Date:5th AUG'2011
Details:The Rashtrapati Bhavan (Sanskrit for Presidential House/Palace) or The Official Residence of the Head of the State is the official residence of the President of India, located at Raisina hill in New Delhi, India. Until 1950 it was known as "Viceroy's House" and served as the residence of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India. It is amidst an area known as Lutyens' Delhi. At present, it is the largest residence of any Chief of the State in the world.The construction of the building was planned for 4 years, but World War I intervened and construction required 19 years to complete. Its first occupant, Lord Irwin , began occupation on Jan. 23, 1931.
The splendour of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is multi-dimensional. It is a vast mansion and its architecture is breathtaking. More than these, it has a hallowed existence in the annals of democracy for being the residence of the President of the largest democracy in the world. Few official residential premises of the Head of the State in the world will match the Rashtrapati Bhavan in terms of its size, vastness and its magnificence.
The present day Rashtrapati Bhavan was the erstwhile residence of the British Viceroy. Its architect was Edwin Landseer Lutyens. The decision to build a residence in New Delhi for the British Viceroy was taken after it was decided in the Delhi Durbar of 1911 that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi in the same year. It was constructed to affirm the permanence of British rule in India. This building gave the impression, in the words of a critique, the setting of a perpetual Durbar. The building and its surroundings were supposed to be 'an empire in stone', 'exercising imperial sway' and containing in it, "the abode of a disinterested elite whose rule was imposed from above". That 'empire in stone' and the perpetual Durbar was transformed to be the permanent institution of democracy on 26th January 1950 when Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India and occupied this building to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of India. It was from that day that this building was renamed as Rashtrapati Bhavan - the President's House.
Apart from Edwin Lutyens, the Chief architect and Chief Engineer Hugh Keeling there were many Indian contractors who were involved in the construction of this building. While a Muslim contractor Haroun-al-Rashid did most of the work of the main building the forecourt was built by Sujan Singh and his son Sobha Singh. Surprisingly the names of these Indians did not find a place in the official biography of Lutyens.
The sanctioned amount for the building was earmarked at 400,000 pounds. However the long span of seventeen years required for the construction of the building raised its cost to 877,136 pounds (then Rs. 12.8 million). The actual amount incurred in not only the construction of the building but also the Mughal Garden and the staff quarters amounted to Rs. 14 million. Edwin Lutyens was reported to have remarked that the money invested in the construction of the building was smaller in amount as compared to the cost of two warships.More Details
Remark:Nice colorful FDC form India Post.They have made the FDC large but still they made the miniature sheet larger than FDC so it does not fit to the FDC.This kind of mistake is regular affair in India post due to no accountability.Thanks Bijoy for sending this FDC.