Rashtrapati Bhavan's historic Durbar Hall has been given a facelift and has been reopened for public viewing.
A special ceremony was held in the Rashtrapati Bhavan where the President Pranab Mukherjee addressed several guests, including chief justices from 131 countries.
The Durbar Hall is expected to play host to the ninth ASEAN-India Commemorative summit from December 20-21. The hall is usually used for state functions like the defence investiture ceremony and the conferring of the Padma awards.
Durbar Hall has a two tonne chandelier hanging from a height of 33 meters. It had two separate thrones for the British Viceroy and Vicereine, which have now been replaced by a simple chair for the President and a statue of Gautam Buddha belonging to Gupta period, fifth Century, A.D.
The president's press secretary, Venu Rajamony, said: "The Durbar Hall is the heart of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It is a very historical room where the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was sworn in. This is where Rajaji was sworn in as Governor General. This is where Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed , our former president, when he passed away, his body was kept here and people came in to pay their respects. This hall, unfortunately for a variety of technical reasons, had fallen into disuse, and now after several months of hard work, it has been brought back to life, it has been given a new look."
After refurbishing, the look of the hall has been altered with changed interiors and revamped portraits of Indian freedom fighters.
The change in the ornamentation of the walls inside the hall and the style of draping stands out distinctively.
The hall was designed by Edwin Lutyens. (ANI)