Parliament House in Delhi





The Parliament House may not have been built. It’s corny how the building most indispensable to modern Indian democracy came up as an afterthought. Earlier called the Circular House, it was added to the layout at a later stage following the reforms which created a large Legislative Assembly.

This edifice is the brainchild of Herbert Baker and was much criticized in comparison with Lutyens creations. An article by Robert Byron in Architectural Review, January 1931describes it thus: "The Council Chamber has been Sir Herbert’s unhappiest venture. Its effect from a distance has been described. It resembles a Spanish bull-ring, lying like a mill-wheel dropped accidentally on its side."

To the northwest of Vijay Chowk, this huge circular, colonnaded building comprises three semicircular chambers for the Legislatures and a Central Library crowned by a 27.4m high dome. It is 173m in diameter and covers 2.02 hectares in area, with colonnaded verandahs enclosing the entire circumference. The three semi-circular areas were designed for the Chamber of Princes, the Council of State and the Legislative Assembly. Today they house the chambers of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and the library. A verandah with 144 columns surrounds the three chambers. The boundary wall has blocks of sandstone carved in geometrical patterns that echo the Mughal jalis.

An entry pass to the library can be obtained from the Visitor’s reception on Raisina Road by providing a letter of introduction from a Member of Parliament. The library working hours are from 1000-1800. To obtain a visitor’s pass to Sansad Bhawan, Indian nationals should apply to the Parliament Secretariat. Foreign nationals should apply through their embassies or high commissions.