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Parliament House (Sansad Bhawan)

Parliament House, located at the end of the Parliament Street is an imposing circular colonnaded building where the representatives of world's largest democracy meets and decides the fate of the over 1 billion people of India. Though just one storey tall, the building stands 75 feet high and measures 570 feet in diameter. It was originally planned to be just an extension of the Viceroy's House (Rashtrapati Bhavan) but after the Montague-Chelmsford reforms of 1919, it was designated as a Parliament House or Legislative Assembly of the country. Parliament House is also known as Sansad Bhawan.

Designed by Herbert Baker, the Duke of Connaught laid the foundation stone of the building on 12th February 1921. Inaugurated by Lady and Lord Irwin in 1927, the building was designed in such a way that it houses a domed central hall and three semi-circular structures, originally meant to accommodate the Chamber of Princes, the Council of State and the Legislative Assembly. Presently they house the Chambers of the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament), the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) and the Parliament library and are attached to each other by galleries. The three semi-circular chambers are surrounded by a circular corridor, which has 144 imposing pillars, giving the whole building a very grand and majestic look. Beautiful lawns, gardens, fountains and waterways all around the building, further enhance the royal look of this 'Temple of Democracy.'

Parliament House holds a very significant place in the history of democratic India, as it was in the central hall of this building that the transfer of power took place in the midnight of 14th August 1947. India became a democratic country from that day, free from British rule and Parliament House, the symbol of its democracy.

Today the Lok Sabha has 550 seats. Of these, 530 members are elected representatives of the Indian states and 20 elected members represent Union Territories (territories governed by the Central (Federal) government). The Rajya Sabha has 250 members, 238 of whom represent states and Union Territories and the 12 nominated members are nominated on the basis of eminence in the fields of arts, sciences, literature etc.

Location: On the northwest of Vijay Chowk, next to the Secretariat buildings at the end of Parliament Street (Sansad Marg)

Time to Visit: Entry into Parliament House requires official permission, whether Parliament is in session or not. Visitors can enter the public galleries of the Indian Parliament with prior permission, after receiving an official pass.

Famous as: Sansad Bhawan: The place where the Indian Parliament meets and the world's largest democracy functions.

Admission Fee: Free, but prior permission required (foreigners/citizens: from their embassies or High commissions/ from the reception office on Raisina Road)

How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach the monument, which is located near Connaught Place (CP), the heart of the city, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.

Photography charges: nil (prior permission required)

Nearest Railway Station: New Delhi Railway Station

Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat

Functional Metro Station: Central Secretariat

Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport

Time required for sightseeing: Approx 2 hours

Special Event / Annual Event: The best time to visit Parliament House is when it is in session. There are three sessions in a year - Summer, Monsoon and Winter.

Nearby Tourist Attractions: India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Jantar Mantar, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and Hanuman Mandir

Nearby Places to Eat: Hotel Le Meridien, Imperial Hotel, Hotel Inter-Continental, Parikrama Revolving restaurant, Gaylord, El Rodeo, Bercos, Zen restaurant, Delhi Darbar, Nizam's Kathi Kebabs and Standard Restaurant. For snacks and fast foods: Bengali Market (sweets and chat), Kake da hotel (Indian food), Wenger, Mc Donalds, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, Nirula's, Ruby Tuesday, Sona Rupa, Starbeans, Barista, Café Coffee Day and innumerable roadside foodstalls.

Nearby Shopping Venues: Connaught Place offers everything from jewelry, books, art, leather goods and a wide choice of Indian and international clothes stores. Central Cottage Industries Emporium has Indian handicrafts and curios. Baba Kharak Singh Marg houses the emporia of all the states of India, dedicated to each state's unique art and craft created by traditional and skilled artisans. Janpath offers clothes, low priced gifts and souvenirs and Palika Bazaar offers a wide range of electronic items.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/01


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Posted on 2011-11-03KIndly correct. The total members in Loksabha are 552. 530 from states, 20 from UTs, and 2 Anglo Indians.