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A digital archive for Rashtrapati Bhavan

Stately site:A view of the Mughal Gardens at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.Shanker Chakravarty

Stately site:A view of the Mughal Gardens at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.Shanker Chakravarty  

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 multi-volume 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.

Seven main volumes

The compilation series comprises 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 the texts.

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