Rashtrapati Bhavan to be documented soon in a digital avatar


The architectural history and the heritage of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the 340-room official residence of the President of India, has been documented in a series of books which will soon be available in an online series.

Concise web-based modules are set to bring to life the architectural and cultural grandeur of the iconic building designed and constructed by legendary British architect Edwin Lutyens.

A multivolume documentation project of the Rashtrapati Bhavan was commissioned three years ago by the President’s Secretariat in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).

Sahapedia, an open online resource on the arts, cultures and heritage of India, which began the project in 2014, compiled 11 volumes of well researched books written by top experts in various fields.

“Along with the books we have produced a series of web modules and will be shortly uploading all of them on our website. These will be valuable for both researchers and laypersons to gain a better understanding of the history and heritage of the building,” Yashaswini Chandra, Project Manager, Sahapedia said.

The compilation series comprises of seven main volumes and four additional volumes of books, including two books for children, all detailing the historic building that was formerly known as Viceroy’s House.

Among the volumes is ‘The Right of the Line: The Presidents 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.

Another volume titled ‘First Garden of the Republic’ captures the grounds and garden.

The project team, which had successfully managed a group of about 50 scholars, academics, photographers, researchers, editors and designers, was hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at his residence recently, to mark the completion of the project.

Several illustrations and photographs accompany texts, which have been collected from primary sources aided by archival research.

“It is a very unique and complex project involving top experts in each field. We had highly specialised photographers working on the books and we used fresh pictures as well as rare archival ones.

“We are pleased to bring it out on time and are grateful to the IGNCA for the funding support,” Dr Sudha Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director of Sahapedia said.


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