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Rashtrapati Bhavan

It is the ultimate perk that comes with being President of India.As the First Citizen,all 200,000square feet of floor area,with its 1700 million bricks and 3 million cubic feet of stone are yours for the taking for the five whole years.And don't forget the sprawling Mughal Garden,spread over 13 acres.Prime propert y does not get better than this.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the biggest residence of any President in the world.First up,there is the towering Jaipur column,145 feet tall and topped by a bronze lotus from which rises a six pointed glass star,the name of the column comes from the fact that its cost was borne by the Maharaja of Jaipur.Luxury gets a whole new meaning in the Yellow Drawing Room,the Grey Drawing Room and the grand Banquet Hall.Originally built as state Ball room,the Ashoka Hall has a wooden floor with a dance space in the centre.The ceiling of this hall is adorned with an elaborate painting of a royal hunting expedition.

There is also the North Drawing Room,where heads of states are received.Step in to the Durbar Hall and a two-ton chandelier hanging from a height of 33 meters greets you.Once known as Throne Room,this hall now has a simple chair for the President.

If the next President has a green thumb,there is going to be loads to do in his personal garden.Spread over an area of 13 acres and divided in to four parts,The Mughal Garden has a series of ornamental fountains,walls,gazebos and screens combined with scores of trees,flowers and shrubs.A herbal garden has also come up in the recent past.

An insider let it slip that the tubs in the bath room were large enough for the biggest man to soak.And the toilet seats were 3 by 5 feet of teak bench.which revealed the bowl only when lifted.

Recalls Sureshwar Sawhney,ADC to Dr. Rajendra Prasad " The main kitchen was fabulous.We had food you couldn't imagine.All served on exquisite china and silver."

Interestingly,The President does not occupy the suites occupied by Viceroys.Instead he occupies one of the guest bedrooms.The first Indian governor general,C.Rajagopalachari,considered the master bedroom too ostentatious for his humble tastes and all Presidents thereafter have followed tradition.Obviously,guests are always welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan-the place has over 350 rooms as compared to the 132 in the White House.

Presidents of India

Ram Nath KovindPranab MukherjeePratibha PatilA.P.J.Abdul KalamK.R.NarayananDr Shankar Dayal Sharma
2017- 2012-20172007-20122002-20071997-20021992-1997

R.VenkataramanGyani Zail Singh Neelam Sanjiva ReddyDr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed V.V.Giri Dr Zakir Husain
1987-1992 1982-19871977-19821974-19771969-19741967-1969

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan DR Rajendra PrasadActing Presidents: V V Giri : 3rd May 1969 to 20th July 1969; M.Hidayatullah : 20th July 1969 to 24th Aug 1969; B D Jatti : 11th Feb 1977 to 25th July 1977
1962-1967 1950-1962

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