Governor throws open Raj Bhavan to the public

Governor throws open Raj Bhavan to the public

Governor Vajubhai Vala greets the staff of Raj Bhavan on Independence Day.

The Raj Bhavan — the governor's official residence — will be open to the public from Thursday till August 31, officials said in a statement.

They said the idea was the brainchild of Governor Vajubhai Vala, who wanted the public to witness and enjoy the scenic beauty of the estate.

The statement said visitors should register on the Raj Bhavan's official website with valid identity and address proofs five days before the date of their visit. The gates of the estate will be open from 4 pm till 7.30 pm.

"The last entry will be at 7 pm and all visitors have to leave by 7.30 pm," the release stated.

Visitors will be split into groups of 30 each and will be taken on a guided tour around the premises for half an hour. The booking for the tour will be confirmed either by SMS or email from officials at the Raj Bhavan. The visit will be free of cost.

Citing security reasons, officials have banned handbags, mobile phones and cameras inside the estate.

Raj Bhavan, as it is called today, was built way back in 1842 by Major General Sir Mark Cubbon, the then Commissioner of Mysore State. The barren land between the high grounds and the GPO was nothing more than boulders and thorny bushes. Cubbon bought the land to build his mansion. The state bought the building in 1862 for a meager Rs 32,000. It was made Bangalore Residency and later the Mysore Residency. Following independence, the building was named Raj Bhavan and became the official residence of the Governor of Karnataka.