Chennaiites are thrilled with the news that the Raj Bhavan has been made accessible to the common public, and several schools have already planned to take their students on an excursion. For just Rs 25, visitors are taken around the Governor’s palace in battery-operated cars, for which one can send request online at least three days in advance. The tour will start from 4 pm onwards, on Fridays and weekends.
According to S.Hemanathan, Additional Director, Public Relations, the tour starts at the reception lounge, from where people will be taken around the nursery and duck pond, Durbar Hall, Gazebo and Main lawns. “Deer can be seen on the main lawns and the public will also get to gaze at the love birds nest, Presidential Suite, Herbal Garden, Oval Garden and Silver Jubilee Garden. They will also get a glimpse of the reserved forest up to Polo Vista.” However, the interiors, where artefacts from the East India Company are kept, will not be open to public.
(A group of deer roaming in the premises)
In an exclusive first-look to a group of media professionals, people were taken to the Durbar Hall, where the swearing-in ceremony takes place and the Presidential Suites, which is exclusive for the President and Vice-President. Some of the highlights included black buck and spotted deer that were seen roaming around the grounds. The interiors have grand portraits of iconic figures from British history that is part of the Raj Bhavan’s art collection.
While interacting with the media on Thursday, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao said that since the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai is open to the public, it gave him the idea to implement it in Chennai. He also added that he would take suggestions from the visitors to add to the experience. When asked about the possibility of an audio show, he said that instead of halting at every point for an audio show, a light and sound show can be arranged at the end of the tour in future.