The Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru is not a place to which a tourist can make a casual visit. It is still a mystery to the common man. It is significant that from the colonial times this building has always remained a seat of power, representing highest values and commanding respect. Great administrators like Sir Mark Cubbon and L.B. Bowring who gave a new direction to the administration are associated with its origin. Its past however remains a mystery.

The Raj Bhavan reflects the British era, traverses through the rule of Maharajas of Mysore with an intermission of administration directly by the British through the Commissioners, witnesses India's independence and culminates in the Indian Republic.



The Raj Bhavan building was built as a private residence by a British Officer who filled the Office of the Commissioner. It was later purchased using government funds by the succeeding Commissioner to make it his official residence. It was not customary for the Government in those days to provide quarters for British officers.

Sir Mark Cubbon, the then Commissioner of Mysore territories for the British from 1834 to 1861, bought this property through grants and built this bungalow with an outhouse and stables between 1840 and 1842. At the time when the this building was constructed there were no other buildings in the area, which is now the heart of the thriving metropolis of Bengaluru.
Sir Cubbon was passionately fond of Arabian horses and used to keep at least fifty horses in his stable. The original bungalow of the Commissioner, with outhouses and stables, was built to meet the rather limited requirements of Cubbon who was a bachelor. At certain times it fell short of the requirements and tents had to be erected in the gardens to accommodate guests.
After Cubbon left, his bungalow and other property came under the charge of his agent Major Frederic Gray and the bungalow was put up for sale. But Lewin Benthem Bowring, who succeeded Cubbon as Commissioner, purchased the bungalow with its vast estate on November 13, 1862.

Did you know?

  • Before it was purchased, the Commissioner was paying a monthly rent of Rs. 200 to Major Gray for the building. Had not Bowring purchased it for the Government then, the bungalow would have been private property today!
  • Aga Ali Askar made an offer of Rs. 28,000 to buy the Raj Bhavan building when it was put up for sale in the early 1860s!
  • The road on the southern side of the old Residency building continues to be known as 'Residency Road' even today!

Old Residency Building>

After Bengaluru became the seat of the Residency in 1831, the Resident first stayed in the building where the State Bank of India is now located. In Bengaluru, the British Resident occupied this building from 1831 till the post of Resident was abolished in January, 1843. Sir Mark Cubbon lived in the Commissioner's Bungalow while the Resident continued to stay in this building.
With the Rendition in 1881 and transfer of power back to the Mysore Royal Family, the office of the Commissioner was abolished and the office of the Resident was revived. The Resident was given accommodation in the erstwhile Commissioner's Bungalow (i.e Raj Bhavan) which thereafter came to be known as 'Residency' till August 15, 1947 when India became independent. During these 66 years more than twenty Residents lived in this building and effected many alterations and additions from time to time.


The 'Residency' of Mysore State was first established at Mysuru in 1799 and later shifted to Bengaluru in the year 1804. It was abolished in the year 1843 only to be revived in 1881 at Bengaluru and finally to be closed down in 1947 with the departure of the British.

The British troops which were first stationed at Srirangapatna after the fall of Tipu Sultan in 1799 were later shifted to the Civil and Military Station of Bengaluru in 1809.

The salubrious climate of Bengaluru attracted the ruling class and led to the establishment of the famous Military Cantonment, a city-state close to the old town of Bengaluru. The area became not only a military base for the British but also a settlement for a large number of Europeans, Anglo-Indians and missionaries.

Did you know

  • The Civil and Military Station also hosted Sir Winston Churchill, the future British Prime Minister, who stayed in Bengaluru from 1897 to 1900.

In the year 1947 the Residency ceased to exist. The Constitution of the Republic created the office of the Raj Pramukh and later that of the Governor. The premises of Residency in Bengaluru therefore came to be called as 'Raj Bhavan'.

The passage from Residency to Raj Bhavan has been quite long. Many stalwarts, generals and administrators have traversed this passage during a span of 110 years. It has a glorious history to which the Lalbagh of Srirangapatna, The Yelwala Residency Building, the Government House at Mysore and the present Raj Bhavan of Bengaluru have stood as magnificent testimony.


The 'Residency', as the Raj Bhavan was earlier referred to, originally covered an area of 92.3 acres. The Residency ground comprised two plots: the plot with the buildings was to the east of the Residency Park Road and measured 67.6 acres and the plot without the buildings to the west of this road measured 24.7 acres.

The Residency built by Sir Mark Cubbon was altered, modified, improved upon and made picturesque over the years by many Residents. The Raj Bhavan initially was a single storeyed building situated on the highest point of the entire plot. Many additions were made to it by subsequent occupants to suit their more demanding requirements. After all, it was the domain of the British Resident of the then Mysore State who had the unique advantage of presiding over a colony which was directly under the Queen's rule. The decorum and dignity of the building was therefore unsurpassed in the whole of India.

The Ball Room was constructed in 1874 when the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, visited India. It was named 'Serapis Room' after the ship which brought the Prince to Bombay. Large windows were inserted and the room was painted in white and gold. Simultaneously the Durbar Hall was also redone with magnificent tapestry of red and gold. A billiards table was also bought during this period. In the year 1909 when Sir Stuart Mitford Fraser was the Resident, the 81 Pioneers Regiment presented a Burmese Bell which was subsequently erected at the Residency. However records show that the bell was taken away by the Sappers and Miners around 1927.

Elaborate modifications were effected and the building was redecorated and refurnished for the stay of the Prince of Wales when Sir Stuart Mitford was the Resident. The electrification of the building was taken up for the first time during this period. The Prince visited Bengaluru in February 1906 and stayed at the Residency.

A guard room was added, a dwarf wall and 'balustrade' (the old cast iron fence) from the main gate towards the General Post Office were erected during 1895-96 when Sir William Mackworth Young was the Resident. Temporary huts for servants were built when Col. Sir Donald Robertson was the Resident. They were later converted into pucca buildings by Sir Hugh Daly. Daly also had the roof of the Dancing Hall raised and the floor fitted with boards utilizing the material from the old Cubbon Assembly Rooms and Courts. A flight of step was built to the roof. The old pantry was converted into the present Dining Hall with teak wood paneling. The intricately carved friezes and coloured dormer lights were added during Mr. Cobb's time (1916-1920). A small verandah and a porch were also constructed at the left wing.

Minor alterations were done when Sir William Barton was the Resident. However, more elaborate improvements were effected during the Residentship of S. E. Pears (1925-1930). These included the construction of a suitable porch at the entrance to the main building. The entire roof of the Durbar Hall - the present lounge, which was very low and defective was re-laid on walls raised to a greater height. The Dancing Hall was overhauled with mouldings, round openings and a special ceiling.

Much later, in 1967, during the tenure of Shri V.V. Giri and Shri G.S. Pathak, the first floor was added to the Raj Bhavan building by amalgamating the architecture to near perfection. The blending is so perfect that it looks as if the first floor always existed. This was made the residence of the Governor.

More recently during 1994-95 many modifications and additions were effected at the initiative of the then Governor Khurshed Alam Khan. Besides strengthening the 153-year-old main building, more accommodation was created. The Madras terrace roof was replaced by flat RCC roof. Due to the interest taken by Governor Smt. Rama Devi, the Banquet Hall has been exquisitely renovated and a glass house has been added to the Raj Bhavan gardens.

The Raj Bhavan of today, an imposing immaculate structure in shell white, has absorbed all these changes over the years and has yet retained its old world flavour and majesty. These changes have blended so harmoniously in this mansion that they give it an ageless, mystique look.


Many great personalities of bygone era have visited and stayed at the Residency as guests. Lord Macaulay visited and stayed here for three days during Cubbon's time. During the first week of December 1868, the Sringeri Guruji visited the Residency and Bowring received him on the lawns.

The King of England and Emperor of India also stayed here. The Governor Generals, later the Viceroys of India, stayed in this building. Lord Dalhousie stayed here for three days from November 3 to 5, 1855. During December 1886, Lord Dufferin and Lady Dufferin were guests here.

It was on Friday the November 29, 1889 that for the first time a member of the Imperial family, His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor, son of H.R.H. Prince of Wales, visited Bengaluru.

On February 5 and 6, 1906 their Royal Highness - the Prince of Wales and the Princess of Wales stayed in the Residency during their visit to Bengaluru.

In this apartment, however, King Edward's son and heir was loyally entertained, and all joined in drinking the health of the Sovereign for whose accommodation the walls were raised.

After India gained independence from British rule, the Residency at Bengaluru was declared as 'Raj Bhavan' meaning the Bungalow of the Governor, a representative of the Governor General of India. Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore, was appointed Raj Pramuka (Governor) of the State. Wodeyar however never lived in this bungalow as he had his own palace, the replica of the Windsor Castle of England, at Bengaluru. Raj Bhavan remained unoccupied by the Governor till 1964, the year in which Jayachamaraja Wodeyar relinquished the office of the Governor of Mysore on being appointed the Governor of Madras. General Sri Nagesh succeeded him as the Governor and occupied Raj Bhavan. From then on all the Governors have been staying in this magnificent building.


The British rule in India came to an end on August 15, 1947. With this, the Residency in Bengaluru ceased to exist and all the British Residents in India were withdrawn, but the name 'Residency' lingered on for almost 15 years.
Subsequently, the then Maharaja of Mysore was appointed the Raj Pramukh of the State. Since he had his own grand palaces both at Bengaluru and at Mysuru, he did not choose to reside in the Residency which was meant for the stay of the Raj Pramukh in the new set-up. Hence, the Residency was made a State guesthouse by the Government.
The service personnel of the Residency were confirmed in the Department of General Administration. Thereafter, State guests such as the President and the Vice President of India, Ministers of the Central Government, Chief Ministers and Ministers of the States, stayed in the Residency.
A number of parties used to be hosted by the Chief Minister either on the lawns in front of the Residency building or in the Ball Room. The parties on occasions like the Independence Day and the Republic Day were hosted by the Raj Pramukh (later the Governor) in the tennis pavilion of is palace ground. At present these parties are held on the Raj Bhavan lawns.
After the Congress Ministry was formed in 1947, the Ball Room of the Residency many times witnessed meetings of the Congress Legislature party. The Vidhana Soudha and the Legislators' Home had not yet been constructed. The legislators used to be given accommodation in state guest houses like 'Sudarshan', 'Carlton House', 'Kumara Krupa' and in other places; only a few select legislators used to get accommodation at the Residency during the sessions of the Legislature.
Executive Committee members of the party like D. Devaraj Urs, A. Bheemappa Naik, R. Chenniga Ramaiah, then Deputy Speaker, P. Gopal Krishna Shetty, then Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council and other eminent persons were accommodated in the Residency. H. C. Dasappa, then Finance Minister and Justice P. Medappa used to play billiards here in the evening after office hours. The Executive Committee meeting were held in the Library and the Congress party meetings were held in the Ball Room of the Residency.
During the days of Kengal Hanumanthaiah, there used to be many lively and delightful parties in the Residency. One such occasion was the farewell party given to Sir Mirza Ismail. During those days, the palace orchestra was in attendance at the parties.
During the post-independence years many persons of eminence and greatness in all walks of life, both from within the country and abroad, have either stayed as State guests or visited the Residency. Among the great national leaders who stayed in the Residency were Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. Shyam Prasad Mukherjee, Dr. Zakir Husain, and Dr. Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur besides several Central Ministers and Governors.

Of the guests from abroad, Eleanor, wife of Roosevelt, then the President of USA, stayed here when on a state tour of India. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1964, was always the guest of His Highness Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, the Maharaja of Mysore, and stayed in the Royal Cottage of the Bengaluru Palace. On one memorable occasion he visited the Residency and addressed the Congress Party meeting in the Ball Room where, on the same occasion, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel also addressed the Congress legislators.
Another memorable occasion was when Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India, on his visit to Mysore State, stayed at the Residency. On this occasion, a photograph of all the Ministers with the President was taken in front of the Residency building.
When Jayachamaraja Wodeyar was appointed the Governor of Madras State, the Residency was occupied by the new Governor of Mysore State and ceased to be a guest house. The purpose, character and activities of the Residency building were totally transformed when it became Raj Bhavan, the residence of the Rajya Pal (i.e. Governor).
Thus, the Residency with a long and distinguished history stood like a rock undisturbed by the political storms from time to time and remained the authoritative symbol of British supremacy and imperialism. Now it is the seat of the Governor, the Constitutional Head of the State. The building has never lost the grandeur or its beauty and has remained a symbol of authority.


Col. Sir Barry Close 22 July 1799 to March 1801
Webbe. Josiah M.C.S. 31 March 1801 to 1 February 1803
Webbe Josiah M.C.S. 23 October 1803 to 1 February 1804
Col. Mark Wilks April 1804 to November 1804
Malcolm, Sir John November 1804 to March 1805
Malcolm, Sir John April 1807 to February 1808
Arthur H.Cole 1809 to 1812
Arthur H. Cole 1818 to 1827
Sir Mark Cubbon May 1834
Col. Fraser, James Stuart October 1834 to January 1836
Major R.D.Stokes 19 January 1836 to 31 December 1842

From 19 October 1831, Commissioners were appointed in addition to Residents.

On January 1, 1843 the post of the Resident was abolished and the duties of the Resident were combined with those of the Commissioner in Bengaluru.


The Raj Bhavan garden Bengaluru has its own history of over one and a half century. The Commissioner’s Bungalow as it was called earlier came to be called as the ‘Residency Park’ and then as Raj Bhavan. Sir Mark Cubbon when he was commissioner of Mysore resided in this Raj Bhavan building. Cubbon had the taste for gardening and aesthetic values. It is because of special interest taken by Cubbon,  the Lalbagh Botanical Garden Bengaluru received  the title “State Botanical Garden” in 1856.Thereafter, systematic exchange of plants between the Lalbagh and other gardens of Bengal Presidency, Madras Presidency and Bombay Presidency could take place and while introducing plants to Lalbagh Garden Bengaluru, a few species like Eucalyptus citriodora, Araucaria cockii, Caesalpinia coriaria  etc., were also introduced to Raj Bhavan gardens  during the period from 1860 to 1870. Later, many species of trees shrubs climbers and other plants were introduced.

Right from the Residency days, the Raj Bhavan garden received special care and attention. The sylvan and colorful garden is adding beauty to the Raj Bhavan Building. The Residency Garden, at one time had about 3400 potted plants, of these the biggest collection was that of   Crotons followed by those of foliage plants, Ferns and Roses. This shows that pot culture started from the Residency days and it is practice of growing different varieties of foliage ornamental plants, flowering shrubs and flowers etc., in pots is being continued even today.

The Raj Bhavan garden was originally laid out both as a formal and an informal garden. The formal garden is the area right in front of the Raj Bhavan portico. The central walk path flanked by a row of Royal palms and abutted on either side by lush green lawns, Rose gardens and arches covered with creepers. The informal garden is on the periphery of the   garden where it has the fruit trees, such as Mango, Sapota and Coconut and kitchen garden plants. Both the formal and the informal gardens are in harmony with the colonial and classical architecture of the Raj Bhavan building.

The Garden has a well designed landscape, with terraces, parapet walls, and metallic arches covered with flowering creepers which lend a subtle beauty to the grandeur of the building. A Glass House has been added during the year 2000, where the state functions are held here. 

An artificial waterfall which has been created in the left side corner of the main lawn provides not only a strategic cover to the buildings, but also relief to the monotony of the place. The bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi just on the right side of the water cascade facing the main lawn provides a touch of serenity, peace and dignity to the atmosphere.

The presence of birds like Eagles, Crows, Pigeons, wood peckers, Myna, Squirrels and butterflies are adding diversity of fauna to the garden.

The Raj Bhavan Garden has different types of plant wealth, such as Albizia saman (Rain tree), Artocarpus altilis (Bread fruit), Artocarpus heterophyllus (Jack fruit), Averrhoa carambola (Star fruit), Bambusa vulgaris (Yellow bamboo), Bougainvillea, Caesalpinia coriaria (Divi-Divi Tree), Callistemon lanceolatus (Bottle brush), Caryota urens (Fish tail palm), Cassia javanica (Pink Cassia), Citrus maxima (Pomelo), Cocos nucifera (Coconut), Colvillea racemosa (Colville’s glory), Couroupita guianensis (Cannon Ball Tree or Nagalinga pushpa),Cycas revoluta (Sago Cycas), Delonix regia, (Gulmohar), Dalbergia latifolia (Rose wood or Beete Mara), Elaeis guineensis (Oilpalm), Elaeocarpus ganitrus (Rudraksha), Erythrina crista-galli (Coral plant), Eucalyptus citriodora, Ficus bengalensis (Banyan tree), Ficus benjamina (Benjamina fig), Ficus religiosa (Peepal Tree), Filicium decipiens (Fern tree), Grevillea robusta (Silver oak), Jacaranda mimosifolia (Blue Jacaranada), Lagestroemia indica (Crape myrtle), Lagestroemia speciosa (Pride of India), Mangifera indica (Mango), Manilkara zapota (Sapota), Millingtonia hortensis (Tree Jasmine), Michelia champaca (Sampige) Peltophorum pterocarpum (Copper pod),Pinus roxburghii (chir pine), Plumeria alba, Plumeria rubra, Polyalthia longifolia (Mast-Tree or Ashoka), Pongamia pinnata (Indian-Beech), Pursea Americana (Avacado), Psidium guajava (Guava), Ravenala madagascariensis (Traveller’sPalm), Roystonea regia (Royal palm),  Samania saman (Rain tree), Santalum album (Sandal wood), Spathodia companulata (African Tulip Tree), Sterculia alata, Swietenia mahagoni (Mahagony), Tabebuia  avellanedae,(Pink Trumpet), Tabebuia argentia (Golden bell), Tabebuia donnell-smithii (Yellow Tabebuia), Tabebuia rosea (Rosy Trumpet-tree), Tamarindus indica (Tamarind), Theobroma cacao (Cocoa), etc., and many ornamental and flowering plants are present in the garden.

The Raj Bhavan gardens  was  upgraded and given face lift during  the year 2018-19  and 2019-20  by developing new lawns, introducing native plants, butterfly attracting plants,  Spice plants, Ground cover plants, Shrubbery plants, Herbal plants, Topiary garden, Bonsai plants, Rose garden, Hedging plants, Exotic plants, Lotus plants, Creeper plants, Bird bath, Seasonal flower, Mini water fall and  Sprinkler system, Rain water infiltration well etc., to make more attractive, enhancing  the esthetic value, beauty  and plant diversity of the garden.

The important ornamental and  flower  plants introduced to Raj Bhavan gardens  from the past eight years  are Acalypha wilkesiana, Acalypha godseffiana, Agloanema varieties,  Annona reticulata ( Ramphal), Anthurium andraeanum ( Anthurium-Painter’s Palette), Artocarpus heterophyllus (Jack  fruit), Asclepias curassavica (Butterfly attracting Plant), Averrhoa carambola (Star fruit), Bambusa ventricosa (Buddas Belly Bamboo), Bignonia megapotamica, Bismarckia nobilis (Silver bismarck palm), Buddleja asiatica, (Butterfly attracting plant), Bunchosia argentea (Peanut butter fruit), Bonsai plants, Burmuda lawn grass, Carmona retusa (The Topiary Plant), Chlorophytum comosum (Spider plant), Cinnamomum verum (Cinnamon), Clerodenrum inerme (Vishama dhari), Cestrum nocturnum (Night Queen), Cuphea hyssopifolia (Cuphea), Citrus siensis (Sweet orange), Citrus reticulata (Nagpur orange), Citrus aurentifolia (Kagzi Lime), Citrus limon  (Lemon), Cocos nucifera (Dwarf Coconut), Dracaena varieties, Duranta goldiana, Dypsis lutescens (Areca palm), Ellettaria cardamomum (Cardamom), Canna  indica (Indian shot),  Chamoedorea elagans (Parlour palm),  Codiaeum variegatum (Crotan), Eranthemum varieties,Elaeocarpus grandiflorus (Flowering Rudrakshi), Erythrina cristagali (Coral plant), Ficus carica (Fig), Ficus benjamina  (var.blackeana), Ficus benjamina (Var. Starlite), Golden cypress, Hibiscus varieties, Hypophorbe lagenicaulis (Champion/Bottle Palm), Ipomoea horsfalliae (Morning glory), Ixora coccinea (Jungle Geranium),  Jasmine varieties, Jatropha, Lagerstroemia indica  (Crepe myrtle), Loropetalum chinense, Leucophyllum frutescens, Malphigia punicifolia (Barbados cherry), Mucuna bennetii (Red Jade Vine), Money plant (Golden yellow), Murraya exotica (Kadu karibevu or Kamini), Nerium oleander, Nelumbo nucifera,(Lotus), Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, (Parijata or Night flowering Jasmine), Ophiopogon (Mondo grass), Mexican lawn grass, Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg), Pachystachys lutea ( Golden shrimp or Lollipop flower), Pandanus (Pandanus variegated –Dwarf), Passiflora incarnata (Passion Flower), Petrea volubilis albiflora (white flower) and Petrea volubilis (Blue flower),  Persea americana (Butter fruit or Avacado),  Pentas lanceolata, Philodendron,  Pimento diocia (All spice),   Piper nigrum (Pepper), Plumeria abtusa (Plumeria dwarf),  Portulaca grandiflora(Porulaca or  9 o’Clock flower), Psidium guajava (Guava), Raphis exelsa (Raphis Palm), Rose, Ruellia simplex(Mexican Petunia), Santalum album (Sandal wood), Sansevaria (Snake plant), Spathiphyllum (Peace lilly), Schefflera arboricola,  Spider lily,  Spicy Guava, St.Augustine lawn grass (Shade grass), Syzygium aromaticum,(Clove),Syzygium samarangense (Water apple), Syzigium cumini (Jamun), Tabernaemontana divaricata (Pin wheel flower or Tabernaemontana dwarf plant), Tecoma varieties,Tradescantia spathacea  (Rhoeo discolor), Vallaris glabra Creeper Plant, Wodyetia bifurcata (Foxtail palm), Quisqualis indica, (Rangoon creeper), etc., and other plants are introduced and planted in Raj Bhavan Garden to enrich the plant wealth and bio-diversity  of this garden.

Apart from maintenance and up keep of Raj Bhavan gardens in a befitting manner, the nursery practices for annual flowers, ornamental foliage and flower plants are adopted systematically for multiplication and raising good annual flowers, ornamental foliage and flower plants in pots and containers and are used for arrangement in offices and during special programme and functions conducted in Raj Bhavan. 



The Raj Bhavan is a magnificent building conceived in the best traditions of both the east and the west. The blending of the building with its ambience is so perfect that it is more in the nature of a décor which is relaxing, pleasing and therefore all the more compelling.

      Gardens                         Artefacts                     Interiors


The Raj Bhavan garden has a history of over one and a half centuries. This garden is what is left of a vast, undulating and imperial garden known in the late 19th and early 20th century as the ‘Residency Park’ measuring around 92 acres. Earlier called ‘the Commissioner’s Bungalow Garden’, the original garden must have been designed and developed during the period of Commissioners Mark Cubbon, Lewin Bowring, John Meade and James Gordon.

This garden is a contemporary of the State Botanical Garden - the Lalbagh. Before 1840, the whole of the ‘High Grounds’ area was more or less arable dry land. There were only a few banyan or fig trees, three of which can still be seen at the Raj Bhavan. The place occupied by the Residency was the highest point in this area.The vast garden of the Commissioner had different botanical species.

Dr. Cleghorn of the Forest Department, Col. Puckle of the Public Works Department and Capt. Cunningham, Secretary of the Commissioner, evinced keen interest in beautifying the garden with graveled footpaths, cisterns, pergolas and rare species of the Cookpine tree.

Right from the days of the Residency the Raj Bhavan has been enriched by gardening in excellent taste. The Residency garden at one time had about 3400 potted plants. Of these, the biggest collection was that of crotons followed by those of foliage plants, ferns and roses. The tradition has not only been followed to this day but has certainly been improved upon.
The garden has a vast diversity of ornamental and other species of flowers and plants. Thus the colonial legacy of tasteful ornamentation and love of nature has continued to this day.

Design and Landscape of the Raj Bhavan Gardens

The Raj Bhavan garden was originally laid out both as a formal and an informal garden. The formal garden is the area just in front of the portico. The central walk path flanked by a row of royal palms and abutted on either side by lush green lawns, rose gardens, and arches covered with creepers is biforked at the fountain.

The informal garden is on the periphery of the garden where the fruit trees such as mango, sapota, banana, papaya, pears, fig and other kitchen garden plants are maintained.

Both the formal and the informal gardens are in harmony with the colonial and classical architecture of the Raj Bhavan building. A replica of Ashoka Pillar in black granite is positioned strategically at the entrance.

The garden has a well designed landscape, with terraces, parapet walls, and metallic arches covered with flowering creepers which lend a subtle beauty to the grandeur of the building. A Glass House has been recently added where the state functions are held now.

An artificial waterfall which has been created in the left corner of the main lawn provides not only a strategic cover to the buildings, but also relief to the monotony of the place with the cascade of water gushing down and meandering like the Shalimar Gardens of the Mughals.

The bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi in ‘Yoga Mudra’ just on the right side of the water cascade facing the main lawn provides a touch of serenity, peace and dignity to the atmosphere.The garden has a number of annuals that blaze the gardens with a riot of colours during the seasons.

Whatever exotic species were introduced into the Botanical Garden (Lalbagh) found their way to the Residency garden as well.

The garden with its beautiful lush green lawns, colorful flower beds, exotic colored roses, scented jasmines and chirping birds not only reflects the taste of the occupant but also affords aesthetic pleasure to visitors. A green house has been established recently.

The erstwhile Residency Park covered a vast area where now the imposing Vidhana Soudha, the Park House, the Sudarshan Guest House, and the Legislators’ Home are located. Over the years, with the construction of these buildings, the spacious Residency Park has shrunk to its present size of 18 acres including the buildings.

Did you know?

  • One of the Cookpine trees planted during those days is the oldest tree of the species in this region, and is still growing!
  • The Raj Bhavan gardens which measures only 16 acres and 4 guntas initially spread over 92 acres !



The Raj Bhavan is a treasure trove of art and its art collection has a legacy from both the West and the East. Its artefact collection includes some superb works of masters from the West like Herbert Parish and Woover Brankt, as also some traditional works of the Mysore, Tanjore and Bengal Schools done in wash method.

Among the treasures of the Raj Bhavan are a number of copies of Ajanta murals and a good number of beautiful and rare artefacts and metal sculptures which date back to the 19th century. These can be categorized under three main groups, namely, paintings, sculptures and prints numbering about a hundred and thirty.

There are notable etching and litho works displayed in the corridors. Technically and qualitatively they are works of great masters. These prints are important because they shed light on the social and ethnic customs as also the costumes of earlier days. In addition they are very important both historically and geographically. Many of these prints belong to the British East India Company period. Some of these drawings were prepared by European masters and later printed in litho and etching media.

Though many of the works do not carry the names of the artists, they are of high standard and quality. They are therefore preserved in the Raj Bhavan for posterity.


The Raj Bhavan is spread over an area of about 18 acres overlooking the Vidhana Soudha at the southeast corner, the Legislators Home at the

north-west and the All India Radio Centre towards the north-east. About two and a half acres of the area is occupied by the buildings.

The Residency has a treasure of royal furniture, top class tapestry, specially designed crockery and cutlery, lovely oil paintings with gold gilded frames, hunting trophies, an excellent billiards table, an ornate piano, and above all, a large collection of antiques and books.

The Raj Bhavan Road leads to the main ornamental wrought-iron gate adorned with the emblem in brass and flanked on either side by guard rooms. Two cannons placed on either side of the main gate gives an idea of an imposing structure behind. A nearly two hundred feet long driveway from the gate leads to the main portico of the building facing a well maintained garden and lawns. A floral look at the entrance immediately attracts the visitor.

The classical 19th century bungalows were always of one storey only though their height some time gave the impression of an upper floor. The Residency was also originally a single-storeyed horizontal building constructed in the British Colonial style of architecture which came to be known as the Residency style of architecture.

Two wings were added during the Renaissance period. It was a perfectly composed building with a magnificent iconic colonnade porch, pedimented and pilastered bay windows, deep moldings and cornices, and lime mortar finish in pure white which provided an ideal setting over a huge formal lush garden in the front.

The first floor of the main building was built during 1967 paying due attention to the architectural details of the original building built 125 years earlier. It has been integrated so perfectly that it is difficult to believe that both the floors were not constructed at the same time and that the first floor is an afterthought.

Italian tiles have been used for the flooring both in ground floor and in some areas of the first floor like the dining, kitchen and pantry areas .The remaining area has wooden flooring with wall-to-wall carpeting. To the rear of the main lounge is the Banquet Hall with an equally grand portico facing the Legislators’ Home. It had wooden flooring since it was used as dance floor during the British days. A separate cottage is also maintained to house the staff accompanying the guests .The total built up area of the Raj Bhavan building measures 42,380 square feet. The main building houses the offices and residence of the Governor.