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Rashtrapati Bhavan – Most expensive home in India

Posted by Williams on November 17, 2007

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We had recently written an article about the house being constructed by Mukesh Ambani in South Mumbai. Quite a few people have been landing up at the article after having searched in Google using the keywords containing “most expensive house”. This started me out on an interesting search… Is it really the most expensive home ever built?

The answer wasn’t hard to find. It isn’t. Not by a long shot. Not even by Indian standards. In fact all of us are already familiar with a more expensive house built in India – our very own ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’.

RBhavan Front

Here are some interesting facts about it:

  1. 17 long years were required to complete (1912-1929) its construction. Then on its 18th year, India became independent. Interesting, because the house was built as a symbol of British Imperial strength. J
  2. The cost of construction was an astounding 14 million rupees. Not sure how much that would be in today’s prices, but that is astronomical by the standards of pre-independent India.
  3. At today’s real estate prices, the land itself will be worth more than 16,000 crores ($4 Billion). The house is built on an area of 335 acres or so, right in the heart of New Delhi. After all, New Delhi itself was designed by Lutyens with Viceroy’s house as its centre.
  4. The building has 340 rooms within its 4 storeyed structure.
  5. At one time 2000 people were required to look after it. Not sure whether that is still the case though. Might have been a colonial time extravaganza.
  6. Although Lutyens and Baker – the two main architects, quarreled bitterly over the details of New Delhi and Viceroy’s house (they actually ceased speaking to each other), the eventual results is considered to be an elegant mix of Western and Indian styles. Indian architectural patterns such as Buddhist railings, chhajjas, chhatris and jaalis are found in the building. Chhajjas are stone slabs designed for preventing the sunrays from falling on the windows and protecting the walls from the rains. Chhatris adorn the rooftops of the building through their elevated positions. Jaalis are stone slabs designed with delicate floral / geometric patterns.
  7. At 630 feet long, it is longer than the Versailles Palace.
  8. By the way, the place also has nine tennis courts, a polo ground, a 14-hole golf course and a cricket field.

To the west of Rashtrapathi Bhavan is the elegant Mughal Gardens, which occupies an area of 13 acres. It has Mughal style canals, fountains and terraces at different levels with flowering shrubs and Western style lawns, hedges and flower beds.RBhavan Mughal Garden

To the east lies a vast court with the huge Jaipur column of red sandstone. It is topped with a bronze lotus and the six pointed glass star of India, in the centre. RBhavan Court View

You can also view the Satellite image and the roadmap of the area. 

To all Indian Presidents’ credit, none of them have ever occupied the actual Viceroy quarters, deeming it to be too extravagant in nature. Instead all have occupied certain portions of the guest enclave of the building.

By the way, I can think of at least one other home building which might be even more expensive than the Rashtrapati Bhavan (not in India, though). Will cover that after some more research.

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Posted in garden, Independent Home, India, Luxury home | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Television Brands in India – Part 1

Posted by Vivek on October 19, 2007

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We first covered televisions on 19 August ’07. That was more of a curtain raiser. A few days ago we discussed our ambition to cover brand specific information. In today’s post we are just going to see the tip of the iceberg – brand names of television sets sold in India.


Image Courtesy : http://www.createyourhometheater.com

The market is overflowing with TV sets. There are all sorts of manufacturers out there. Let us classify them based on their country of origin.

Indian Television Brands

Sanyo BPL




Chinese Television Brands




Korean Television Brands





Japanese Television Brands









Other Country brands

benq  – Taiwan

philips – Holland

viewsonic – USA

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Brands offered in India

Posted by Vivek on October 16, 2007

We have been on-line for just about two months now. One of the features which we wanted to offer in Aavaas was to have a comprehensive brand knowledge-base on key appliances in India.

In the coming days, we will start rolling out posts which would have brand details for various appliances. These would just serve to increase consumer awareness. Perhaps if you own one of the brands listed, you may write a review on them on Aavaas’ comment section.

Brand is defined as

” A trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer. “

What are the ingredients in the making of a brand ?

– Product (that offers innovation at attractive prices)

– Company (that is driven by values and has a good marketing strategy)

– Consumer (who benefits from innovation and values)

In India, brand/company names are passed on from one generation to another. Further Internet has increased people’s awareness levels. No longer are people worried about experimenting new brands which offer them good value for money.

keep reading !

Posted in Appliances, brands, India | 2 Comments »

Inside Outside – Chennai Trade show coverage (final part)

Posted by Vivek on August 26, 2007

Coming on to summarize the proceedings of the exhibition now. But before we go into that, we have already received some interesting comments on this fair….

  • Smaller than last year
  • Spacious
  • wide variety

 The exhibition by itself was pretty well organized. The show was split into two halls. The first focused on company related stalls who had products which would fit into your home making it more comfortable.

The second hall was full of banks, waiting to offer you their loans for home purchases. There were some strange stalls for fengshui too. But the biggest surprise (negative) was the presence of companies promoting share trading accounts and even car loans.

In my opinion, it looks like the organizers ran out of takers for the space and ended up subletting the space to who ever had the purchasing power.

Some of the common items which you would see in the first hall were

  • Tiles – lots of them
  • Sanitary fittings for your bathroom
  • Kitchen appliance like chimneys, sinks
  • Modular kitchen makers
  • Electric fitment companies like anchor and Clipsal
  • Ready made doors
  • Window solutions
  • Water heaters
  • Purifiers
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Paint
  • Security systems like camera phones for your home
  • Mattresses
  • Furniture
  • Air conditioners
  • Light appliances
  • Bathroom accessories
  • Water pumps
  • Swimming pool solutions !

 If you think it would be interesting to check these out, please refer to our earlier post on city specific dates https://htoh.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/inside-outside-chennai-trade-show-coverage-part-1/

This almost concludes the write-up on the show. Future posts would be article specific.

Readers are invited to cover similar shows and post it on the blog.

home sweet home


Posted in Exhibitions, Home, India | 4 Comments »

Inside Outside – Chennai Trade show coverage (part 4)

Posted by Vivek on August 26, 2007

IO 9

 Pic 9: One of the traditional spaces in Indian homes – Puja Room

There was no dearth of creative elements on the exhibition floor. For instance the picture above shows that there is an active interest in people to set up traditional “puja rooms” in their homes. So this guy is trying to sell huge pictures of deities in various sizes, finishes and what not. I would say for the spiritual minded people this stall would have been a sure stop and there was hardly any competition for him !

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 Pic 10: A luxury bath cubicle

Well, we remember mentioning the bath cubicle in one of our first articles as an accessory which can save you trouble of having wet floors in your bathroom. This can avoid accidents to a great deal and further more, enhance the life of your precious tiles on the floor.

The one shown above is actually some kind of a Jacuzzi which has pressurized outlets. This promises a refreshing and stimulating bath experience. We will not go into specifics here at the moment.

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 Pic 11: Clipsal home automation (electric home automation)

This really caught our attention. At first we did not venture into the clipsal booth, but I think it was wise to do so at the end. They have a state of the art control system for homes. Really impressive. If you have some money to splurge, you can invest on the product shown above, which is a color LCD screen central control console. From here you can virtually control all electric appliances of your home including the curtains, lights, dimmer and what not.

The best part, is that it can be hooked to a PC with Ethernet and if the PC is on-line, you can virtually control the whole home setup from even your office!!

The whole thing is customizable for individual homes and also you can upgrade the features if you wish to do so…..

 Interesting, is it not?

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 Pic 12: The paint guys

It was indeed a complete solution for home owners (well almost). Here you can see Asian paints stall where I think users are even encouraged to try out some painting by themselves. We also saw some other paint companies out there like Shalimar or something like that.

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 Pic 13: Fenesta windows – A really interesting proposition

These guys claim to be window experts offering what was only seen outside India a few years ago. We really liked their USP of reducing noise levels by up-to 30db, standard warranty of something like 10 years and so on.

I think windows and door fittings with glass needs great planning and if you have some time, you should have a look at their product ranges. They also do renovation, so you can upgrade from your current archaic windows to their products.

Another USP is that since there is a good seal, AC bills are reduced. But there is no way to quantify this.

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 Pic 14: For electric bill conscious people

There were some stalls offering solar heater products which are typically installed on roof top. We are not sure if apartment owners can do that, but individual home owners can most certainly opt for one. In Chennai at-least there is no short supply of sunshine 😉

What caught our attention here is the huge bill board. Good advertising perhaps.

Posted in Exhibitions, Home, India | 2 Comments »