Raj Niwas, Pondicherry
Raj Niwas (translation: Government House) is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. It is located in Puducherry's capital city of Pondicherry. The present lieutenant governor of Puducherry is Dr. Kiran Bedi. Once it was the official residence of the French Governors.
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|Raj Niwas, Pondicherry|
|Owner||Government of Pondicherry|
Le Palais Du governor now called the Raj Niwas is situated surrounded by the Rue Jawaharlal Nehru on the North, Rue De Rangapoule on the South and Rue Saint Louis on the East and Rue Francois Martin on the West with access from the north and south. The Governor’s House has a history of its own. Pierre Benoît Dumas, the French Governor for Pondicherry, laid the foundation for a Governor’s palace in 1738 but the palace had to wait for the arrival of Joseph François Dupleix to see its completion. When Jean Law de Lauriston took over Pondicherry in 1765 the town was completely in ruins. Within a short span of three years a whole new town sprang up on the ruins of the old - the Governor’s Palace and the administration offices on the north, the warehouses on the south, the military barracks on the east and west.
The new House of the Governor was built on the former site of the Hotel de la Compaigne which was the origin of the present Raj Niwas. Initially, the Governor's House was built in the French Baroque style but it was destroyed in the year 1761 by the British. Later, the building was rebuilt in the Rococo style from 1766 onwards. The Raj Niwas was a rectangular, single storied structure running east to west with porticoes on either side of the flanked by two other rectangular wings on the east and west. It was later converted into a double storied House.
Much later the Southern Verandas were subsequently widened and its frontage was beautified and given a face-lift. Since then the southern gate has been the official entrance of the Raj Niwas. The Governor’s palace provides accommodation for state as well as personal guests of the Governor and these suites are named after the various regions, namely Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam.
The Raj Niwas is beautiful within as it is on the outside .It has a valuable collection of ancient artifacts. The magnificent collection of crockery, brass and silver wares, crockery, delicate porcelain, coins, statues, crockery, vases, antique furniture, crockery and grand piano which adds a rich and regal ambiance to it.
Eco-initiatives at the Raj NiwasEdit
Eco-initiatives at the Raj Niwas are adhered to its daily functioning. An eco-initiative to reuse, reduce and recycle has been adopted. Conserving energy and resources is always a priority. The Raj Niwas kitchen always follows the mantra of serving local, organic food. Eco-friendly products are sourced from local producers and are used at Raj Niwas and provided for the guest’s .Under its green initiative, Raj Niwas supports local artisans and craftsman by ensuring that all gifts, mementos and decorative are sourced specifically from Puducherry.
COVID Measures and ActivitiesEdit
On 12 March, the Raj Nivas suspended Open House sessions for the public with compliance to health and safety guidelines and all meetings and sessions have been conducted online since. Audio and video briefings have been taking place regularly since the lockdown. Lt. Gov Dr Kiran Bedi has been constantly reaching out to the people of Puducherry through social media urging them to follow safety precautions. The Raj Nivas has taken up various measures to connect regularly with people through daily online webinars and videos on events like Environment day, Doctor's Day etc. Lt Governor Dr. Kiran Bedi has also been undertaking field visits to check on the public’s observance of lockdown rules and regulations. Open House sessions at Raj Nivas were resumed from September 14, with prior registration and addressing of grievances continued by the Lt. Governor and her team through whatsapp video calls.
Raj Niwas is thrown open for public viewing since 1 May, 2017. Online registration in advance is mandatory for visiting Raj Niwas. Registration instructions can be found on the official website under the section "Raj Niwas Tour".
- Visitors' Hour is from 12 p.m. to 1.30 p.m. - Monday to Saturday 
- Online Registration is Mandatory
- Children below 5 years are not allowed
- Online booking is subject to confirmation through email / sms.
- All visitors are required to carry original Government Issued Photo ID cards.
- Foreign visitors should carry their original passports.
- For security reasons, Lieutenant Governor's Secretariat reserves the right to approve / rescind permission to visit Raj Niwas
- The permission to visit Raj Niwas is subject to cancellation, if circumstances render it necessary.
- Each visitor shall carry their Original Photo ID on the tour.
- Bags, Mobiles and Eatables are strictly not allowed on the Guided Tour.
- Right of Admission is reserved and could be rescinded at any time.
- Pg.67, India: The Elephant's Blessing, Aline Dobbie
- Encyclopedia of Interior Design, Joanna Banham
- Varma, M. Dinesh (12 March 2020). "Govt. steps up efforts to tackle COVID-19". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
- http://www.uniindia.com/lg-plants-saplings-at-raj-nivas-garden-on-world-environment-day/south/news/2025881.html. Missing or empty