Vidhana Soudha is one of Bangalore’s famous landmarks. It is the largest legislative building of India and houses the State Legislature and the Secretariat of Karnataka. It is a splendid white building spread over 60 acres of land and boasts of Dravidian architecture.
It is located at Dr. Ambedkar Road, Sampangiram Nagar opposite the magnificent Red Karnataka High Court Building.
It was the idea of Sri Kengal Hanumanthaiah, the Chief Minister of Mysore from 1951 to 1956, to get the Vidhana Soudha built and to make it a symbol of legislative sovereignty of the people. The foundation of the building was laid by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (the then Prime Minister of India) on 13th July, 1951 and the building was completed in the year 1956.
The total cost of building the Vidhana Soudha reportedly had come to around Rs. 1.75 crore. About 5000 unskilled workers, masons, 1500 chisellers and wood-carvers are said to have worked on its construction.
The architecture is a secular blend of British, Dravidian and Indo-Islamic architecture. It is built mainly with “Bangalore granite”, reportedly excavated from the areas around Mallasandra and Hesaraghatta.
The edifice of the building is rectangular in shape and includes two chambers. The Legislative Assembly Chamber is located in the first floor of the central wing, and measures 125 feet by 132 feet and has a height of 40 feet. It has a seating capacity for 268 people. Total length of the edifice is 700 feet, width is 350 feet and height are 150 feet.
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 central dome of the building is 60 feet in diameter and is supported by 8 pillars. It also has six small domes, four in the front and two at the back. The grand edifice has 300 rooms in total, which accommodate approximately 22 departments of the State government.
The building has a grand staircase which has 45 steps, and is 204 feet wide, 70 feet deep and gives a direct access to the foyer of first floor leading to the Assembly Chamber. This is one of the most attractive features of the building.
Every Sunday evening, the building is lit up beautifully and the locals and tourists get to witness a stunning light show, which is a huge attraction of this place.
There is an inscription carved on top of the main entrance that says “Government’s Work is God’s Work”.
These and the marvellous architecture of the building are not to be missed, especially by tourists.
The entry into the building has been restricted due to security reasons, but visitors can take a prior permission or an entry pass in order to go inside.