One of the most famous landmarks of Bangalore, the Vidhana Soudha houses the State Legislature and the Secretariat of Karnataka. The magnificent white building is spread over 60 acres of land and boasts of Dravidian architecture. It is also the largest Legislative building of India. The origin of the building dates back to the times of Sri Kengal Hanumanthaiah, the Chief Minister of Mysore from 1951 to 1956. His idea behind bringing the building into existence was to make it a symbol of legislative sovereignty of the people in the same manner as The House of Commons in London. The foundation of the building was laid by the then PM, Sri Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 13th July, 1951. It was completed in the year 1956 and the total cost came around Rs. 1.75 crore.
The edifice is rectangular in shape and has two chambers. The Legislative Assembly Chamber measures 125 feet by 132 feet and is 40 feet high. Located in the first floor of the central wing, it has a seating capacity for 268 members. The Legislative Council Chamber is located in the first floor of the southern wing. It measures 100 feet by 78 feet high and has a seating capacity of 88 members. Total length of the edifice is 700 feet, width is 350 feet and height (measuring from floor level to top of central dome) is 150 feet. The central dome of the building is 60 feet in diameter and is supported by 8 pillars. It also has six small domes, four in the front and two at the back side. Most attractive feature of the building is its grand stairs which has 45 steps, is 204 feet wide, 70 feet deep and gives a direct access to the foyer of first floor leading to the Assembly Chamber. In total, the grand edifice has 300 rooms which accommodate approximately 22 departments of the State government.
About 5000 unskilled workers, masons, 1500 chisellers and wood-carvers worked on the construction. It is a secular building which reflects a perfect blending of British, Dravidian and Indo-Islamic architecture. It is built mainly with “Bangalore granite”, excavated from the areas around Mallasandra and Hesaraghatta. One of the main attractions among locals and tourists is the lighting up of the building on every Sunday evening. It is located at Dr. Ambedkar Road, Sampangiram Nagar opposite the magnificent Red Karnataka High Court Building. Visitors should not miss the inscription “Government’s Work is God’s Work” written on the top of the main entrance. The entry to the building has been restricted due to security reason but one can take a prior permission or an entry pass in order to go inside.