It was Winston Churchill who once quipped that men made the buildings but that the buildings subsequently made men. The magnificent and gigantic granite, the seat of Karnataka Legislature and the government stands as testimoney to this observation. What was once a virtual wilderness surrounding the Old Residency Building (Now called the Raj Bhavan), has been transformed into a marvelous Architectural pieces in the country.
Magnificent Vidhana Soudha at night – Photo by Arindam Bhowmik
The Vidhana Soudha, located in Bengaluru (Bangalore), is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka. It is an imposing building, constructed in a style sometimes described as Mysore Neo-Dravidian, and incorporates elements of Indo-Saracenic and Dravidian styles. The construction was completed in 1956.
Magnificent Vidhana Soudha – Photo by Arindam Bhowmik
Sri Kengal Hanumanthaiah
|Kengal Hanumanthaiah is credited with the conception and construction of the Vidhana Soudha, . The foundation was laid by the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, on 13 July 1951. However, it was Hanumanthaiah who was instrumental in the redesign and speedy construction of Vidhana Soudha. He visited Europe, Russia, United States and other places and got the idea of building the Vidhana Soudha by incorporating various designs from the buildings he had seen.
It was completed in 1956. He took a lot of interest and effort in building this marvelous granite building.
Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore A bullock cart and a bus in the backdrop of the Secretariat, 1980
|The Vidhana Soudha has four floors above and one floor below ground level and sprawls across an area of 2,300 by 1,150 feet (700 m × 350 m). It is the largest Legislative building in India. Its eastern face has a porch with 12 granite columns, 40 feet (12 m) feet tall. Leading to the foyer is a flight of stairs with 45 steps,
more than 200 feet (61 m) wide. The central dome, 60 feet (18 m) in diameter, is crowned by a likeness of the Indian national emblem. The front of the building is inscribed with the words Government's Work is God's Work.
Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore - Under Construction
The cost of construction at that time was just 17.5 million rupees. But presently, annual maintenance cost itself is more than 20 million rupees (which include repairs, painting, and other miscellaneous expenses).
The building is illuminated on Sundays and public holidays.
• The Vidhana Soudha has three main floors (each of which measures over 1,32,400 sq ft) and a top floor (1,01,165 sq ft). The total floor area adds up to 5,05,505 sq ft.
• Its overall length is 700 feet, width is 350 feet and height (measuring from floor level to top of central dome) is 150 feet.
• The building's central dome is sixty feet in diameter and is supported by eight pillars. It also has six smaller domes, four in front and two behind.
• There are twelve forty-foot columns over the entrance steps.
• The Vidhana Soudha was completed in four years: construction began in 1952 and was finished in 1956.
• About 5000 labourers and 1500 chisellers, masons and wood-carvers worked on the project.
• Almost all the unskilled workers deployed in its construction were convicts, who were given their freedom on its completion.
• The entire cost of the project was Rs 1.75 crore.
Everyone knows that the Vidhana Soudha houses the state secretariat and legislature, and that it was the brainchild of the late Kengal Hanumanthaiah, Chief Minister of Mysore state. But did you know...
• It is truly a secular edifice, showing features of British, Dravidian, and Indo-Islamic architecture.
•The Vidhana Soudha is built largely with "Bangalore granite", excavated from the areas around Mallasandra and Hessaraghatta. For visual effect and relief, "Magadi pink" and "Turuvekere black" stones have also been used.
Following the 2001 Indian Parliament attack, concerns were raised about the security of Vidhana Soudha. The fencing near the footpath on all sides were replaced with a strong 10-foot high steel fencing. Consequently watch towers, upgraded scanning equipment, automated doors and thorough screening systems were installed.
The general appearance of the Vidhana Soudha with its skillful blending of ancient and modern 'architectural styles, is both massive and striking. The twelve forty-foot columns in front of the Assembly Hall provided an imposing background for the Central dome and six smaller ones. The Central dome, supported by eight pillars is sixty feet in diameter and provides the roof over the State Banquet Hall.
The Legislative Assembly Chamber measures 125 feet by 132 feet and 40. feet high and is located in the first floor of the central wingand has a seating accommodation for 268 Members, with provision for future expansion to accommodate about 100 more Members by readjustment of the seating arrangements. The Legislative Council Chamber is located in the first floor of the southern wing. It measures 100 feet by 78 feet high and has a seating capacity of 88 members.
The Karnataka government has constructed a replica named Vikasa Soudha to the south of the building. Initiated by the then Chief Minister S M Krishna and inaugurated in February 2005, it is intended to be an annexe housing some of the ministries and legislative offices.
How to Reach
It is located on Dr Ambedkar Rd, Seshadripuram. Opposite to Vidhana Soudha is The High Court of Karnataka. Both buildings are in the Cubbon park which is located near K.S.L.T.A (Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association).