The Global Energy Parliament is honoured to be hosting its 13th annual session on ‘Science and Faith’ at the Raj Bhavan of Kolkata.
Raj Bhavan is the official residence of the Governor of West Bengal (presently Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose), located in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. Built in 1803, it was known as Government House before Indian independence.
In the early nineteenth century Calcutta (Kolkata) was at the height of its golden age. Known as the City of Palaces or St. Petersburg of the East, Calcutta was the richest, largest and the most elegant colonial cities of India. It was during this time that one of Calcutta's finest colonial structures, Government House (later Raj Bhavan), was constructed.
In 1799 the then Governor-General of India, the 1st Marquess Wellesley, took the initiative of building a palace, because he believed that India should be ruled from a palace and not from a country house. Lord Wellesley wanted to make a statement to the imperial authority and power and so the building was done on a grand scale.
The total area occupied by the Raj Bhavan is 27 acres. The Raj Bhavan building has 84,000 sq.ft of floor space. The residential suites are in the four corners of the second floor while the main suite - the Prince of Wales suite-used by visiting dignitaries, on the first floor North West. In the ground floor the central area is called the Marble Hall. The first floor central area consists of the Throne Room, Banquet Hall and the Blue Drawing and Brown Dining Rooms. On the first floor, North East corner has the Council Chamber, in which major Government decisions were made during British rule. The second floor has the Governor's apartments and the Ball Room.
The most illustrious son of the Curzon family, George Nathaniel Curzon came to occupy the Raj Bhavan as the Viceroy of India 100 years after it was built. Lord Curzon described the Government House as “without doubt the finest Government House occupied by the representative of any Sovereign or Government in the world.”
The Government House retained this awe-instilling quality even after the departure of the last British incumbent, Sir Frederick Burrows, and the assumption of office by the first Indian Governor, the illustrious Shri C. Rajagopalachari in 1947. But the imposing gates began to open for a steadily increasing stream of visitors from all classes.