The much-awaited public visit to Raj Bhavan, which began from Thursday, has been cancelled till August 22 because of the death of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. People who have already been given slots will be accommodated between September 1 and 6.
It was a memory to cherish for many who visited the governor's official residence on Friday. The people are being allowed inside the majestic mansion to witness the aura of the premises, which are a restricted zone and the public is not allowed every day. A special permission had been given for the public to get a glimpse of the interiors from Thursday till August 31.
A Raj Bhavan source said that they received orders to cancel the public entry from Friday till August 22.
On Friday, over 100 people had queued up in front of Raj Bhavan. Visitors had to apply for passes on the official website of the Raj Bhavan five days prior to the visit. The people are allowed entry from 4 pm to 7.30 pm and are sent in batches of 30 for 20-30 minutes. The visitors are screened and their ID cards checked before they are allowed inside. Floral decorations and glittering lights welcomed the visitors.
Mr Kumar S., an architect, who was in the first batch, came back awestruck. He told Deccan Chronicle, "It is once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had always admired the beauty of the mansion from outside while driving on Raj Bhavan Road and was thinking of entering it someday. Now that I went inside, I was impressed by the architecture, design and the way it has been built. As I am an architect myself, I wanted to know how it has been built. It is indeed a splendid structure."
Mr Kumar said that 30 minutes are too short to look into details of the mansion. "I would surely visit the place with my family. As Bengalureans, it is our duty to visit such places, especially the Raj Bhavan, which is spread over 16 acres," he said.
On the response from the public, a security official at Raj Bhavan said, "We have been getting numerous calls from educational institutions and the public enquiring about the visits. We have received thousands of applications and we are trying to accommodate all. We are expecting full capacity of visitors every day till August 31."
Another source said that if there is high demand from the public, the governor might think of extending the public visiting slots. "It is once a year now, and there are chances of making it twice a year," the source added.Kanishka Raja Rao, a Class 10 student from a private school who visited along with his parents, said, "There was a guide who took us around the lawns, meeting rooms, the area where the governor resides, reading rooms and other places. It is a vast place and it was beautiful to see first-hand, as we have only seen photographs and TV footage in newspapers and news channels. It was also a way to know more about the place," he said.
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