Himachal Pradesh Raj Bhavan has been thrown open for the general public from today. Earlier known as ‘Barnes Court’, the huge building has been constructed in Tudor style architecture. This site was first occupied by the British Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, Sir Edward Barnes in 1832, after whom it was named. It was the residence of various British Commanders-in-Chief.
It was in 1972, that the historic ‘Shimla Agreement’ between India and Pakistan was signed here by the then Prime Ministers,” Smt. Indira Gandhi and Shri Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
On the first day of its opening, the Governor welcomed around 60 children from local schools viz: Portmore and Government School Chotta Shimla, who visited Raj Bhavan and were given a tour of the heritage building, explained about the importance of the events that took place in Raj Bhawan. The Children also interacted with Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla and the Lady Governor, Janaki Shukla. A short documentary based on the history of Raj Bhavan was also shown on the occasion.
While interacting with the media, the Governor said that Raj Bhavan was a historical and a heritage building. “I took the initiative to throw Raj Bhawan open to general public so that the common man could come and learn more about this heritage building besides enjoying its magnificence,” said Shukla.
I have taken this decision based on the analogy of opening of Rashtrapati Niwas to the general public by President of India, Droupadi Murmu, he said, adding that he was confident that everyone would agree with this decision of mine.
For visiting Raj Bhavan, one can contact on WhatsApp number 94183-16617 or landline 0177-2624152 and can apply through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sh. Shukla said that he had come to Shimla for the first time only after becoming the Governor. He was also aware of the historical importance of this place. Earlier, the protocol of the Governors house prevented the tourists and locals from entering Raj Bhavan. The opening of the building will not only give access to the general public but will be now an added attraction for the visitors in the list of Shimla’s heritage monuments. Besides the historical ‘Shimla Agreement’ table, valuable artifacts of pre-independence era have also been preserved here, said he.
Expressing deep sorrow over loss of life and property due to heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh, the Governor stated that we all should be united to help those in distress and affected by the monsoon fury. Raj Bhavan has so far sent 11 vehicles of relief material through the State Red Cross, he said adding that he visited disaster affected areas and also met the affected families and shared their agony. He said that from time to time, the central government was also being informed about the situation in the state. I am confident that adequate assistance would be given by Union government on the basis of the assessment of loss as per the past practice.