An opulent House: art lines ₹200-crore interiors

The new Parliament building is centrally air-conditioned and closed, features a digitised voting system, well-engineered acoustics and state-of-the-art audiovisual systems in the two chambers

May 28, 2023 08:46 pm | Updated May 29, 2023 05:18 pm IST - New Delhi

The new Parliament building illuminated with colourful lights, in New Delhi, on May 28, 2023.

The new Parliament building illuminated with colourful lights, in New Delhi, on May 28, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

An artistic interpretation of a section of the night sky over New Delhi on January 26, 1950, and a Foucault pendulum inside the new Parliament building drew crowds on Sunday, with several MPs and other dignitaries posing for pictures against them.

The Foucault pendulum, named after French physicist Léon Foucault, is used to demonstrate the earth’s rotation. At the latitude of Parliament, it takes 49 hours, 59 minutes and 18 seconds for the pendulum to complete one rotation.

Above the pendulum, on the ceiling, six individual panels depict the artistic interpretation of the section of the night sky and celestial bodies present over New Delhi on the midnight of January 26, 1950.

The new Parliament is dotted with many such installations, murals and artwork.

Roughly ₹200 crore was spent to decorate the interiors, an area of 64,500 square metres.

A photograph of a mural depicting what is believed to be a map of ancient India marking important kingdoms and cities of the past extending up to the present day Pakistan has gone viral.

Sharing the picture, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi tweeted: “The resolve is clear — Akhand Bharat.”

The gallery Shapatya Deergha has murals on protected monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India and UNESCO.

Different yoga asanas are digitally projected on the top of these installations.

The new Parliament building varies in several ways from the old one. The entire building is centrally air-conditioned and closed, though there are skylights for sunlight to stream in at intervals.

On Sunday, after the inaugural function ended, MPs and guests fanned out. Much of the building still needs finishing touches, with unscripted sandstone floors and beige benches lining the walls still wrapped in plastic. The building remains a maze for the first-time visitor in the absence of signboards, and most of the security staff were still clueless about the layout. Outside the chambers, the interiors resemble a hotel lobby with receptions and sofas placed for the waiting crowds in lobbies

The Ministers’ chambers can be accessed through corridors running parallel to the triangular boundary of the building. Their chambers are fitted with motion sensor lights and have dark wooden panelling. These rooms are the only ones that open onto a balcony.

The only other open space is the central courtyard, which has a banyan tree at its centre, and encircling it are lounges for parliamentarians and a library. Each of the three entrances of the building are also decked up with artwork.

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha chambers boast a digitised voting system, well-engineered acoustics, and state-of-the-art audiovisual systems to ensure effective legislative proceedings.

Also Read |A new House, again in red sandstone

The building has three ceremonial foyers where huge brass images of Mahatma Gandhi, Chanakya, Gargi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, B.R. Ambedkar, and the Chariot Wheel from the Sun Temple at Konark are on display.

The public entrances lead to three galleries — the Sangeet Gallery which exhibits dance, song, and musical traditions of India; the Sthapthya Gallery depicts the architectural heritage of the country and the Shilp Gallery showcases distinct handicraft traditions of different states.

The interiors of the Lok Sabha chamber are based on the theme of the national bird, peacock, while that of the Rajya Sabha depict national flower lotus.

According to officials, eminent musicians and their family members including Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar have donated their musical instruments for the Sangeet Gallery.

(With PTI inputs)

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.