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2 Aug, 2013

E-payment launched for online booking of India’s Presidential Residence tours


Presidents Secretariat, 01-August, 2013 – ‘E-payment gateway for e-management of visitors’ – a system for online collection of registration charges for booking of Rashtrapati Bhavan tours was launched on August 1, 2013 by Mrs Omita Paul, Secretary to the President. Nominal registration charges for Rashtrapati Bhavan tours will be applicable from September 1, 2013.

The registration charges are as under:

1. Visitors individually or in a group of less than 30 persons will be charged @Rs 25/- per visitor per visit.

2. Visitors in a group of 30 persons will be charged Rs. 600/- in lump sum per visit.

3. Visitors in a group of more than 30 persons will be charged Rs. 600/- for 30 visitors and Rs. 25/- per visitor per visit for additional persons.

4. Children below the age of 12 years will be exempt from registration charges.

An on-line booking system for tours of Rashtrapati Bhavan was started on January 1, 2013. Since then, over 47,000 persons have visited Rashtrapati Bhavan using the system. Bookings for tours are opened one month in advance and bookings for September 2013 are currently open.

These charges are meant to enable Rashtrapati Bhavan maintain and improve services to public. The registration charges can be also paid at the Reception of Rashtrapati Bhavan prior to the tour.

According to the Rashtrapati Bhavan website, This vast mansion has got four floors and 340 rooms. With a floor area of 200, 000 square feet it is built by using 700 million bricks and three million cubic feet of stone. Hardly any steel has gone into the construction of the building.

The most prominent and distinguishing aspect of Rashtrapati Bhavan is its dome which is superimposed on its structure. It is visible from a distance and the most eye-catching round roof with a circular base in the heart of Delhi. The pre-dominance of Indian architecture in the dome is evident from the fact that it is encircled by railings of Sanchi origin. In fact the whole of Rashtrapati Bhavan embodies in it Indian architectural patterns such as Buddhist railings, chhajjas, chhatris and jaalis.

Chhajjas are stone slabs which are fixed below the roof of a building and are designed for the purposes of preventing the sunrays from falling on the windows and protecting the walls from the rains in the monsoon. Chhatris adorn the rooftops of the building and make an exception to the horizontal line through their elevated positions. Jaalis, like chhajjas and chhatris, are also of typical Indian designs which add beauty to the architecture of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Jaalis are the stone slabs containing lots of perforations which are designed with delicate floral and geometric patterns.

Another redeeming feature of the architecture of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the use of Indian temple bells in its pillars. It is well known that the temple bells constitute part and parcel of our composite culture, particularly that of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions. Blending these bells with the Hellenic style architecture is a fine example of the fusion of Indian and European designs. The ideas to adopt such bells in the pillars of Rashtrapati Bhavan came from a Jain temple at Moodabidri in Karnataka.