The swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hosted at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the second time. The President’s house is expected to host around 6,000 dignitaries who will witness the oath-taking ceremony of all the elected ministers. The event has been organised at the stately path between the main gates and the main building, which is used for the ceremonial reception of visiting heads of state and heads of government as also for the Change of Guard ceremony.
This would be the fourth time in the history of Indian political events that a Prime Minister would take oath at the forecourt instead of the Durbar Hall, which can accommodate only around 500 people.
Here are some details about the official residence of the President of India.
* The President’s house or Rashtrapati Bhavan is located at the western end of Rajpath in New Delhi, and on the other end, there is iconic India Gate.
* Rashtrapati Bhavan is one among the largest state of head residence in the world.
* The beautiful resident of the state is divided into three circuits. The first circuit covers the main building and central lawn of Rashtrapati Bhavan including its three premier halls – the Ashok Hall, Durbar Hall, Banquet Hall and the drawing rooms. The second circuit consists of the Rashtrapati Bhavan museum complex, while the third circuit has the famous gardens – the Mughal gardens, herbal garden, musical garden and spiritual garden.
*The main dome of the main wing is the circular Durbar Hall, its architectural features include intricate stonework. The main attraction here is the two-tonne crystal chandelier that hangs from a height of 33 metres. This ceremonial hall is used to host Civil and Defence Investiture Ceremonies wherein the President of India confers the prestigious honours to the recipients.
* Two villages Raisina and Malcha were cleared in order to build this mansion and hence the land is known as Raisina hill on which it is built. It was constructed by an architect namely Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens.
* The mansion has four floors, 340 rooms with a floor area of 200,000 square feet. It is built with 700 million bricks and three million cubic feet of stone. The building is built in two shades of sandstone and reflects a blend of Mughal and classical European style of architecture.
* The Statue of Gautama Buddha on a crimson velvet background which is present at the back of Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan belongs to the 5th century A.D. In front of this statue is placed the President’s Chair.
* The Ashok Hall is used for the presentation of credentials by Heads of Missions of foreign countries and as a formal place of introductions for the visiting and Indian delegations prior to the commencement of the State Banquets hosted by the President. While the floor is totally wooden and has springs beneath its surface, the ceilings of Ashok Hall are decorated with oil paintings.
* The Banquet Hall is also known as the State Dining Room and hosts a wealth of beautiful detail. This room which is 104 feet long, 34 feet wide and 35 feet high overlooks the Mughal Gardens on one side. Burmese teak panelling decorates the walls of the Banquet Hall while the floors are patterned in grey Kota stone and white Makrana marble.