The Vidhana Soudha, located in Bangalore (Bengaluru), is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka. It is an imposing building, constructed in a style sometimes described as Neo-Dravidian , and incorporates elements of Indo-Saracenic and Dravidian styles. The construction was completed in 1956.

Construction history

Though Kengal Hanumanthaiah is credited with the conception and construction of the Vidhana Soudha, a building project to house the secretariat and legislature was planned and decided upon by the K. C. Reddy cabinet which was simply called House of Legislature. The foundation was laid by the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, on July 13, 1951. However it was Kengal Hanumanthaiah who was instrumental in the redesign and speedy construction of Vidhana soudha. He visited Europe, Russia, United States and other places and got the idea of building Vidhana Soudha by incorporating various designs from the buildings he had seen. It was completed in 1956. Kengal Hanumanthaiah took a lot of interest and effort in building this marvelous granite building.

Design and construction
The Vidhana Soudha has four floors above and one floor below ground level and sprawls across an area of 700 by 350 feet. It is the largest Legislative building in India. Its eastern face has a porch with 12 granite columns, 40 feet tall. Leading to the foyer is a flight of stairs with 45 steps, more than 200 feet wide. The central dome, 60 feet in diameter, is crowned by a likeness of the Indian national emblem. The front of the building is inscribed with the words Government's Work is God's Work. The cost of construction at that time was just 17.5 million (1.75 Crore) rupees. But presently, annual maintenance cost itself is more than 20 million rupees (which include repairs, painting, and other miscellaneous expenses). The building is illuminated on Sundays and public holidays.

Following the 2001 Indian Parliament attack, concerns were raised about the security of vidhana soudha. The fencing near the footpath on all sides were replaced with a strong 10-foot high steel fencing. Consequently watch towers, upgraded scanning equipment, automated doors and thorough screening systems were installed.

Vikas Soudha
The Karnataka government has constructed a replica named Vikasa Soudha to the south of the building. Initiated by the then Chief Minister S M Krishna and inaugurated in February 2005, it is intended to be an annex housing some of the ministries and legislative offices. Opposite to Vidhana soudha is The High Court of Karnataka. Both buildings are in the Cubbon park.


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