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Parliament House

Parliament House of India

Also Known As Sansad Bhawan - A Large Legislative Assembly

If it were not for the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms of 1919, the Parliament House may not have been built. It's corny how the building most indispensable to modern Indian democracy came up as an afterthought. Earlier called the Circular House, it was added to the layout at a later stage following the reforms which created a large Legislative Assembly.

This edifice is the brainchild of Herbert Baker and was much criticized in comparison with Lutyens creations. An article by Robert Byron in Architectural Review, January 1931describes it thus: "The Council Chamber has been Sir Herbert's unhappiest venture. Its effect from a distance has been described. It resembles a Spanish bull-ring, lying like a mill-wheel dropped accidentally on its side."

Quick bytes

State :
Location : On the northwest of Vijay Chowk, next to the Secretariat buildings at the end of Parliament Street (Sansad Marg).
Time to Visit : Entry into Parliament House requires official permission, whether Parliament is in session or not. Visitors can enter the public galleries of the Indian Parliament with prior permission, after receiving an official pass.
Famous as : The place where the Indian Parliament meets and the world's largest democracy functions.
Admission Fee : Free, but prior permission required (foreigners/citizens: from their embassies or High commissions/ from the reception office on Raisina Road)
Photography charges : nil (prior permission required)

The Massive Structure

To the northwest of Vijay Chowk, this huge circular, colonnaded building comprises three semicircular chambers for the Legislatures and a Central Library crowned by a 27.4m high dome. It is 173m in diameter and covers 2.02 hectares in area, with colonnaded verandahs enclosing the entire circumference. The three semi-circular areas were designed for the Chamber of Princes, the Council of State and the Legislative Assembly. Today they house the chambers of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and the library. A verandah with 144 columns surrounds the three chambers. The boundary wall has blocks of sandstone carved in geometrical patterns that echo the Mughal jalis.

An entry pass to the library can be obtained from the Visitor's reception on Raisina Road by providing a letter of introduction from a Member of Parliament. The library working hours are from 1000-1800. To obtain a visitor's pass to Sansad Bhawan, Indian nationals should apply to the Parliament Secretariat. Foreign nationals should apply through their embassies or high commissions.

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