The Weekend Leader - Rashtrapati Bhavan now open for public four days a week

Rashtrapati Bhavan now open for public four days a week

New Delhi


Rashtrapati Bhavan, the sprawling official residence of the Indian President here, will now be open for public viewing for four days a week.

Starting Thursday, after paying Rs 50 per person, members of the public can go visit the British-built President's house on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., except on gazetted holidays. Children below the age of eight are exempted from the charge.

"Indian citizens are required to carry any valid photo ID cards while foreign citizens are required to carry their original passport at the time of visit," an official statement said. 

People could earlier visit Rashtrapati Bhavan's main building and the central lawn three days a week on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The number of days of public viewing have been increased on the directions of President Ram Nath Kovind. 

"The President directed that we must endeavour to make it (Rashtrapati Bhavan) more and more accessible to the people," Ashok Malik, Press Secretary to the President, told IANS. 

There has been no change in other stipulations. Entry and exit for visitors will be through Gate number 2 on Rajpath, Gate number 37 on Hukmi Mai Marg, and Gate number 38 on Church Road.

"The visits can be booked online at /rbtour," the statement said. 

The Rashtrapati Bhavan was originally known as the Viceroy's House and came up when the British shifted their capital from then Calcutta (now, Kolkata) to Delhi. It has four floors and 340 rooms in the main building.

One of the largest residences of a Head of State in the world, it covers a floor area of 200,000 square feet and boasts of a Mughal Gardens. 

Records say 700 million bricks went into building the Rashtrapati Bhavan. - IANS