The Raj Bhavan at Bhubaneswar is an important landmark of the modern capital city of Odisha. Situated on a hillock known as Bhalu Mundia, the Raj Bhavan presents a magnificent sight. The construction of a residence for the Governor was taken up in a sprawling plot of land measuring 88 acres, which was then located in the western part of the existing township. Architect Shri Julius Vaz prepared the design.
The hilly terrain of the Raj Bhavan Complex has been terraced into several sections. On the top of the hillock stands the magnificent main building, and below it are located the other buildings.
The complex comprises of main building, the administrative block, an annexe, the office of the reserve inspector, a reception counter, a dispensary, a garage and a godown. A portion of the premises is forested and the remaining area is covered by different horticulture species such as coconut, cashew, mango and other fruit bearing trees. Open lawns spread along with the central vistas.
The office chamber and residential quarters of His Excellency the Governor, office of the secretary to Governor, office of the Aide-de-camp, Personal Secretary, Private Secretary and Comptroller, guest rooms, library, the Abhishek Hall, the Banquet Hall and a mini conference hall are located in the main building. Several objects of attire comprising stone statues, pieces of filigree work, paintings, photographs and trophies adorn the Raj Bhavan.
Situated on the ground floor, Abhishek Hall serves as the venue of important staff meetings and functions including swearing-in ceremonies. This 49 feet by 29 feet hall is decorated with two large paintings.
In this 39 feet by 32 feet hall, banquets and parties are held. The hall is decked with photographs of Presidents of India and several paintings.
A mini conference hall, which can seat about 20 persons, has been added to the main block. Seats around an oval-shaped table are equipped with microphones. The hall is provided with modern gadgets such as a computer and an overhead LCD projector with screen. His Excellency Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the then President of India, inaugurated the hall on 3rd July 2006.
The holding of the Raj Bhavan library consists of about 7000 books in different languages such as English, Oriya, Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Urdu. The collection includes books on the Constitution, religion, philosophy, history, culture, yoga, literature, economics, management and computer science. The library is used by the Governor, the staff of Raj Bhavan and their families. Guests, who visit the Raj Bhavan and stay there, also use the library. The present library hall was inaugurated by His Excellency Shri M. M. Rajendran on 9th October 2002.
The residential quarters of His Excellency and his family are located on the first floor. The rooms and the corridor are tastefully decorated.
There are nine suites in the main building, where visiting dignitaries stay during their visits to the state. The suites are quite spacious, each having a dressing room and a toilet. The suited bear the names of the places of historical and geographical importance. The three suites on the ground floor along the western arm of the building-Kalinga, Chilika and Pallavi are meant for VVIPs and VIPs. The Kalinga suite consists of a drawing room, a bed room, a dining room, a mini pantry and an attendant's room. The six other suites-Dhauli, Ansupa and Konark on the ground floor along the northern arm and Similipal, Chandragiri and Pipili on the first floor-provide accommodation to other visiting dignitaries. Each suite is decorated with photographs and paintings : the Kalinga suite is decorated with a portrait of Baji Rout, the boatman boy, who reused to ferry British soldiers across the Brahmani and fell to their bullets; the Chilika suite has two photographs of Chilika, the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia. The picture of a danseuse in a particular pose signifiest he name of the Pallavi suite. Paintings and photographs of Ansupa Lake, the Sun Temple of Konark and Chandragiri and an appliqué wall hanging of Pipili adorn the respective rooms bearing these names. Besides these, the three rooms in the guest annex provide lodging facilities to visitors.
The Governor's Secretariat is housed in the Administrative Block, which is located on the southeast of the main building. The Secretariat functions under the administrative control of the Secretary to the Governor, who assists His Excellency in discharging his duties and functions. The administrative block houses a post office and a printing press in addition to administrative sections.
The garden comprises lush green lawns, two rose gardens, a cactus house and flower beds along the main driveway where a variety of seasonal flowers are grown besides two gardens for medicinal herbs and a kitchen garden. Various types of seasonal flowers are planted in the flower beds. A large number of potted flower plants are also placed in the portico as well as in front of the main building.
Apart from the flower plants, foliage plants like croton, difanbachea, coleus, cycas, drasera, etc are grown in pots. Four fountains decorated with coloured lights beautify the lawn. The in-house nursery meets the major requirements of the garden. The kitchen garden, varieties of vegetables are grown to meet the requirements of the kitchen. Raj Bhavan garden has been adjudged the best garden in the city a number of times. In the Annual Flower Show and Garden Competition organized by Plant Lovers' Association in 2008, this garden won the best garden trophy among the gardens of central and state government offices.
Established on 2nd October 1973 over a small area of one acre to the northeast of the premises, the Deer Park originally housed a maximum of 10 animals including a pair of spotted deer and 3 black bucks. This was inaugurated by His Excellency Shri B. D. Jatti. Subsequently, more animals were brought here from the Nandan Kanan Zoo. The southern wing spreading over an area of one acre of land was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. Nurul Hasan, the then Governor, on 14th November 1989. It houses 80 spotted deer and 2 black bucks.
A Sub-Post office functions in the Administrative Building of Raj Bhavan to ensure prompt postal service. The officers and staff of Raj Bhavan avail themselves of the various facilities offered by the Sub-Post Office.
There is an offset printing press in the administrative block, where the engagements of the Governor are printed for official circulation.
Close to the dispensary, there is a children's park with provision for games and amusement for the children of Raj Bhavan staff.
On the occasions of the Independence Day and the Republic Day, His Excellency the Governor hosts AT HOME parties at t he Raj Bhavan. Dignitaries such as Chief Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly, Judges of the High Court, Chairman and Member of Central Administrative Tribunal, Stare Administrative Tribunal, prominent industrialists, social workers of Odisha, chiefs of important NGOs, eminent persons in the fields of art, literature, music, sports, etc., who belong to the state, former Governors from Odisha, former Chief Ministers, Union Ministers and Ministers of State from Odisha, freedom fighters, central and state civil, police, military, literature and sports awardees of Odisha, former Judges of Odisha High Court, former Advocates General of Odisha, retired IAS officers of the rank of Chief Secretary/Secretaries to Government of India, retired IPS officers of the rank of D.G. of Police and former Principal Chief Conservators of Forests, Odisha, accredited media persons, etc. are invited to the party. Senior State Government and Central Government officers stationed at Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are also invited.
Normally, an AT HOME party continues for one hour in the afternoon. The party begins with the arrival of His Excellency and the First Lady at the venue. As soon as they proceed to the venue, six buglers blow their bugles, and soon after their arrival, the National Anthem is played. At the end of the party, the same procedure is followed. During the party, His Excellency goes round and meets the guests personally. Freedom fighters are felicitated on the occasion. All the guests are treated with high tea. A brief cultural programme is often staged on the occasion.
Housed in the building adjacent to the residence of Secretary to the Governor, the Dispensary caters to the health needs of His Excellency the Governor and his family, the staff of the Raj Bhavan and their dependent family members. General public also consult the doctor.
State Bank of India, Raj Bhavan Branch
The Raj Bhavan branch of State Bank of India is located near the dispensary. It provides banking facilities to the Raj Bhavan staffs as well as to the people living in the locality.Top
Ceremonial parties are held in the Raj Bhavan from time to time. Swearing in ceremonies of the Governor, Chief Minister and Council of Ministers are held in the Raj Bhavan. The Chief Justice of Odisha High Court, Chief Information Officer and State Chief Election Commissioner are also administered oath at the Raj Bhavan.