Designed by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, the Parliament House (Sansad Bhavan) is a striking sandstone building and home to both houses of the Parliament of India. This round building was inspired by the Great Stupa of Sanchi and the Ashoka Chakra—the same circular symbol found in the center of the Indian flag.
With its impressive architecture featuring sandstone colonnades and surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens, the Parliament House is worth a visit on aesthetic value alone. However, if you have an interest in political history, you may want to drop into the Parliament Museum, which features interactive exhibits detailing the history and democratic heritage of modern India.
Many private and small-group tours of Delhi and of New Delhi stop at the building, and some provide time for you to go inside and explore the museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Parliament House is ideal for architecture and political history fans.
- To enter the Parliament House itself, foreigners must apply through their embassies or high commissions.
- There’s a computerized resource center on the premises for researchers and scholars.
- Backpacks and large bags must be checked at the cloakroom.
- Photography is not permitted within the museum.
How to Get There
Parliament House is located in the heart of the Raj-era neighborhood of Lutyens’ Delhi, near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace) and India Gate. The nearest metro stop is Central Secretariat, a 5-minute walk away, on the Yellow and Violet Lines.
When to Get There
The Parliament Museum is open 11am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday. If you plan to spend a lot of time walking around the Parliament House’s exterior, come early in the day—when temperatures are cooler and the sun isn’t as abrasive—or during the winter months.
A New Parliament?
The Parliament House dates back to the 1920s, and there have been concerns in recent years about the structure’s safety as well as its ability to accommodate modern audiovisual technology. While it's unlikely that the current building will be demolished due to its heritage status alone, the Parliament of India may find a new home in the years to come.