The amazing architecture of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, President of India’s 340-room resplendent official residence, has been captured in a series of 11 glossy books of photographs.
The volumes of books, aimed at bringing to life the historical, architectural and cultural aspects of the President’s Estate, have been put together over a period of three years by Sahapedia, an open online resource on the arts, cultures and heritage of India.
The multi-volume documentation project of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, (RB) Series, was commissioned by the President’s Secretariat in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).
Among the volumes is ‘The Right of the Line: The President’s Bodyguard’, which presents an engaging picture of the President’s Bodyguard, the elite household cavalry unit which is the most senior and oldest regiment of the Indian Army.
One of the most enduring and spectacular images in public imagination is of the President being escorted during the Republic Day parade by the bodyguards, all decked up in majestic ceremonial livery and sporting gleaming weapons.
“This is the first time that a project of this scale has been executed. Based on rigorous research, we had academics and researchers from India and abroad working on the books.
“Right from the commissioning of authors, researching and writing, and ensuring an overall standard, we have been behind it all. It was a mammoth exercise and we are very pleased with the results,” says Yashaswini Chandra, Project Manager, Sahapedia.
Another book in the series talks about the architecture and landscape, while another explores the arts and interiors of the grand colonial building, which is one of the greatest architectural projects of modern times carried out by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.
The magnificent volume, ‘First Garden of the Republic’ captures the grounds and garden.
There is also a tome detailing the dining and entertaining venues at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The final volume to be brought out under the series explores ‘Life at Rashtrapati Bhavan’.
Generous illustrations and photographs accompany the texts. The sourcing is all from primary sources aided by archival research.
The project includes two additional volumes on the performing arts at Rashtrapati Bhavan and two books for children.
Published by the Publications Division of India, all the books are available in print. Later in the year, multimedia volumes based on the series will also feature on the Sahapedia website.
Currently, the website features an image gallery as well as audio-visual content that accompanies the text on the site.