The Raj Bhavan is not a building that many people get a chance to admire. However, if you’re in Bangalore over the next few days, this may be something you could do. Read on to find out more about how you can visit the Raj Bhavan.
The Raj Bhavan is the official residence of the Karnataka governor. The building has a history of over 150 years. As an Independence Day gift, former Governor Vajubhai Vala decided to open the doors of the Raj Bhavan to the public for a few days. Thawar Chand Gehlot is the current Governor of Karnataka.
Things to Remember
- Dates to Visit – August 23rd and September 6th
- Raj Bhavan online registrations are now closed
- Offline registrations are still open and visitors are permitted till September 6th.
- Entry is limited and available on first come first serve basis
- Address – Address: opp DRDO, Raj Bhavan Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001
The Raj Bhavan
The Raj Bhavan was originally built as a private residence by a British Officer. It later became the British Commissioner’s residence. Sir Mark Cubbon is credited with the construction of the current Raj Bhavan in the 1840s. It was purchased for the government in 1862 by Lewin Benthem Bowring.
The Raj Bhavan and its gardens are spread over 18 acres of land. It boasts of the Residency style of architecture and was initially designed as a single storied building. The first floor was added much later in 1967.
The driveway from the gate to the main portico of the house is almost 200 feet long. As one approaches the building, some of its features that stand out at the iconic colonnade porch, pilastered bay windows, deep moldings and cornices and the expansive formal garden.
The ground floor and some parts of the first floor have been tiled with Italian tiles. The banquet hall has had wooden flooring since the rime of the British Raj when it was used as a dance floor.
Independence Day Gift
According to the original schedule, visitors were to be welcomed from August 16th to 31st between 4 pm and 7 pm. However, on account of national mourning for the death of ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the visits were rescheduled between August 23rd and September 6th.
The interiors of the Raj Bhavan are usually seen only by high-profile state visitors, official dignitaries and diplomats. Hence, it is not surprising to note that many people were seen queuing at the entrance even on a rainy Sunday evening. Guides have been appointed to take visitors in groups of 30 people each, through the Raj Bhavan and introduce them to the interiors of the building.
Some of the rooms open to visitors include the lounge, banquet hall, royal ballroom and glass house. Each tour takes about 25-30 minutes. A video presentation has been organized in the banquet hall and the police band performs a musical concert at the glass house.
Response to Bookings
Registration for the visits was initially available online and offline. The number of visitors allowed each day was limited to 500 on weekdays and 1500 on weekends. However, at least 100 additional visitors were permitted each day. Online registrations have now been closed as the number of visitors registered has exceeded the maximum capacity.
Guidelines for Visitors
- Last entry is at 7 pm and all visitors must leave the premises by 7.30pm.
- Entry for visitors is through the main gate on Raj Bhava Road.
- Visitors who have registered online should arrive at the main gate at least 15 minutes before the given time slot.
- All visitors must carry a valid photo ID proof.
- Foreign nationals must carry their passport and visa for verification
- Handbags, mobile phones and cameras are not allowed.