Coffee Table book on Architecture & Landscape of Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of President of India, has beautifully captured in lens by celebrated photographer Ram Rahman and edited by renowned historian Narayani Gupta. The book has been published by Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
A copy of the book was presented to UAE Minister of Tolerance who had visited the India Pavilion of the ongoing Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2019. India is the ‘Guest of Honour’ at the Book Fair.
The architecture of Rashtrapati Bhavan is an interesting example of Imperial architecture designed during a period of growing anti-colonial feeling. It is an awe-inspiring structure, a stolid symbol of British imperialism (interestingly, its façade is the same length— 630 ft—as that of Buckingham Palace).
It is, however, also a sign of the times of the pre-Independent India. Early twentieth century India was simmering with anti-British sentiment, and a need to show some respect for Indian tradition meant that this grand new building had to be more than just a European edifice sitting grandly in an Indian setting.
The chhajjas (dripstones) or the marble floor inlaid with coloured stone, or the elegant floral-carved stone jalis (screens)— are all Indian architectural elements.
The building made in red and buff sandstone is another standing testimony of the Indian imprint in the grand heritage building set in Lutyen’s Delhi , surrounded by the famous Mughal Gardens.
The book was commissioned by President’s Secretariat and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Ministry of Culture, Government of India and published by the Publications Division under the aegis of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.