Built from 1951 to 1956, the Vidhana Soudha, the state of Karnataka’s legislative building, is one of the most imposing structures in the region and the largest legislative building in all of India. Many consider it the pride of Bangalore, and it’s renowned for its breathtaking architecture. It’s undoubtedly a must-see when visiting this part of the world.
Neo-Dravidian in style and inspired by Russian, American and European architecture, the colossal Vidhana Soudha was designed to outshine Bangalore’s British-built High Court building. And – if bigger is considered better – it does just that. Spread across more than 24 hectares of land, standing 46 metres high and boasting more than 505,505 square feet of floor space, the Vidhana Soudha is certainly impressive. On the building’s eastern face, you’ll find perhaps its most magnificent feature. A striking set of stone steps that measure more than 60 metres wide lead up to a grand entrance flanked by 12 granite columns, each measuring 12 metres high. Perched atop the entrance is an 18-metre-wide dome held up by 8 pillars and emblazoned with the Indian national emblem – four lions standing back to back, which symbolise power, courage, pride and confidence. The building features an additional 6 smaller domes set out along its expansive rooftop. If a commanding presence is what they were going for, they got it right.
Vidhana Soudha is located in the city centre at the north-west edge of Bangalore’s famed Cubbon Park. Many tours of the city include Vidhana Soudha on their itineraries, but it’s easy enough to find on your own. Checking out this architectural wonder is an excellent addition to a day spent in the park. Visitors are welcome to appreciate the building from the outside, and you can take photographs; however, recent security restrictions mean you can’t go inside.
If you’re in Bangalore on a Sunday evening or public-holiday evening, be sure to visit Vidhana Soudha just after sundown, when the building is lit up in a magnificent show of lights. The lights go on at 6pm and stay on until 8:30pm.