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Raj Bhawan

Raj Bhawan
Fact File
» Construction : between 1799 and 1803
» Covered Area - 27 acres, building 84,000 sq. ft. floor space

Situated in a fine enclosure of 6 acres standing back of the Maidan, it was known as governor's house previously.

About Raj Bhawan
Construction of Raj Bhawan
The Raj Bhawan was built by the Marquis of Wellesley, Governor General of India, under the East India Company. He stared the work in 1799 and completed in 1803. On the day of inauguration, 800 invitees came to witness the grand ceremony.

The Court of Directors of East India Company, London, disapproved his venture which was to cost sicca rupees 5,06,326 or 63,291 pounds. In fact East India Company not only dismissed him but wanted to persuade the Parliament to impeach him, which did not happen.

Design of the Building
The design of Raj Bhawan was prepared imitating the Kedteston Hall in England. Captain Charles Wyatt, a Bengal Engineer, made the blueprint. The Kedteston Hall was the abode of the ancestors of Lord Curzon.

Covered Area
The total covered area of Raj Bhawan is 27 acres and the building has 84,000 sq. ft. of floor space.

How many floors in the building??
The residential suites are in the four corners of the second floor and the Prince of Wales suite on the first floor North West. In the ground floor the central area is called the Marble Hall. The first floor central area consists of the Throne Room, Banquet Hall and the Breakfast Room. On the first floor, North East corner has the Council Chamber, in which major Government decisions were made during the British rule. Opposite to it on the North West corner, the Prince of Wales suite is located which till now was used as the VIP suite. The second floor has the residential suites including the Governor's private quarters and the Ball Room. There are quarters of the Raj Bhavan employees outside the North Gate.

A garden in front of the Raj Bhavan bears a cannon which is set on a dragon frame. It was hailed from Nan King. There are a few more cannons. The Indian Governor Generals used to dwell in this building till 1912. At present, the Governor of West Bengal stays in this palatial 'Bhavan'.

It houses a rare collection of antiques, including Tipu Sultan's throne, which was later confiscated by George V, and the glittering chandeliers in the ballroom. The first ever elevator of Kolkata (Calcutta) can still be seen ascending graciously. The throne of Tipu Sultan was also exhibited here.Visitors are not allowed to enter the compound.

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