A monumental structure that was once the seat of British imperial power, Raj Bhavan draws tourists from far and wide and is one of the gems of the city’s heritage. A three-storeyed building, somewhat constructed like the White House, it boasts a grand central area that has generous halls. Curved corridors on all four sides lead to separate wings that are houses in themselves. The Throne Room, the Banquet Hall, the Blue Drawing Room and the Brown Dining Room are all on the central area of the first floor. So is the Council Chamber, which was the venue of many important government decisions. The governor’s apartments and the grand Ball Room are located on the second floor. There are many acres of gardens around the building and intricately carved tall gates in wrought iron with lions sitting on top.

In total, Raj Bhavan is spread over 27 acre while the building occupies 84,000 sq ft of floor space. There are grand residential suites on the second floor. The grandest of all, the Prince of Wales suite, is on the first floor. Governor general Lord Wellesley started staying here immediately as the ruler of the British empire in India. After him, there have been 23 governor-generals and many viceroys who have lived here until the capital of India was shifted to Delhi. The last to occupy Raj Bhavan was Sir Fredrick Burrows after whom Shri C Rajagopalachari took up residence here as the first Indian Governor. Built between 1799 and 1803, Raj Bhavan was inspired by the Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, which was Lord Curzon’s ancestral house.

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