Updated: Dec 26, 2022
Described as "poetry in stone" by some, the Vidhana Soudha in Mysore is a striking example of revivalist architecture. Built from granite and marble, it has twelve tall columns and was designed by the second chief minister of Mysore, Kengal Hanumanthaiah. The building was inaugurated on October 10, 1956, and is still admired for its grandeur. It is also said to have inspired similar structures in other parts of the world.
The Vidhana Soudha was built between 1951 and 1956 and is the seat of the government and the Legislature of Karnataka. It was designed to be representative of the legislative sovereignty of the people and was modeled after the House of Commons in London and the Capitol in Washington D.C. The architect, Kengal Hanumanthaiah, traveled extensively throughout Europe, Russia, and the United States before he began work on the Vidhana Soudha. The building is 150 feet high and has a Neo-Dravidian style.
The Vidhana Soudha features four domes that support the central dome. There are four smaller domes around the central dome, and the entire structure has a total floor area of 505,505 square feet. The Vidhana Soudha is open for public viewing, but prior permission is required to visit.
The Vidhana Soudha's design was inspired by the temples of South India, and it took four years to complete. Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone on July 13, 1951. The architect, Kengal Hanumanthaiah, ensured the design was suitable and the construction was completed at a rapid pace. During the construction, he visited Europe and borrowed ideas from other buildings. His interest in the construction of the Vidhana Soudha was apparent from his involvement throughout the project.
The Vidhana Soudha is a prestigious and iconic landmark in Bengaluru. The building houses the Karnataka State assembly. The state legislature's chamber is comparable to the Capitol Hill building in Washington, D.C. It has 300 rooms for state government departments, and the overall construction cost was about 17.5 million INR. The building is very accessible and close to the underground metro station.
The Vidhana Soudha is a symbol of democracy. It is India's largest legislative building and has hosted Queen Elizabeth II and the SAARC Summit. It also houses the State legislature and the Karnataka secretariat. The building has been described as the Taj Mahal of South India.
The building is open to the public but visitors must have permission to enter. During the evenings, the Vidhana Soudha is floodlit. During this time, the building attracts people from all parts of the state. Visitors can view the interior with permission and enjoy the magnificent views.
The building's construction cost nearly doubled from the original 50 lakh rupee budget. The building was designed by B.R. Manickam and was completed in April 1951. Its foundation stone was laid by Jawaharlal Nehru.