Raj Bhavan is the official residence of the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Honorable Shri Banwarilal Purohit.
Not too many know that Raj Bhavan conducts a Safari too. Yes, you read right, a Safari. Raj Bhavan has been conducting Safaris on its grounds since the 19th of April 2017. Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are the only two states that conduct Safaris for the public, we were told.
We read an article about the Safari, in the newspaper The Hindu, and knew we had to go for it.
Duration of Safari:
1 hour, along with a Guide.
Fee for Safari:
Rs 30/- (Thirty/ Tees rupaye) per person. Yes, you are reading right. No, I haven’t missed out a zero or another digit.
Mode of Transport:
Electric Car / A giant Golf Cart. You will be walking around too. Not much though.
How you could register for the Safari
Log in to the Official Raj Bhavan website here
Register yourself. You will be asked for PAN /Aadhar Card details and your vehicle number, apart from your address and phone number.
Pay online or choose to pay cash.
After you’re done you will get an SMS of acknowledgement. Post which you will get another SMS and an Email of Approval.
You will also get a re-confirmation call on the day of the Safari. This is the time to tell them if you’ve changed your mind, as if you register and don’t turn up, your name, and all the details you shared will be put up on their site, in a ‘Defaulters List’ here
Some Facts about Raj Bhavan
The 156.14 Acre campus has
A Temple, a Church and a Mosque
A Printing Press
A Fire Station
A Post Office
The Campus partially runs on the Solar Power they generate
Raj Bhavan is also attached to Guindy National Park.
Flora and Fauna
1000 Spotted Deer
400 Black Bucks (what a beautiful sight they were!)
152 Species of Trees
7158 Trees in all, at last count (False Ashoka, Mango, Guava, Copper Pod, Cannon Ball, Tamarind, Palmyrah Palm, Pungam, Banyan are just some of the trees)
Jackals are the other animals here.
350 Families (The Staff and the staff serving them) live on the campus
270 CRPF Personnel protect it
Carrying a Camera inside is not allowed as photography is prohibited, except while you feed the Deer (you need to buy a Rs 10/- token for that) .
You are allowed to carry your Mobile Phone.
What you will see
The Governer’s Residence, from afar (clarifying as some optimistic souls asked if ‘they could go inside his house’)
The beautiful Darbar Hall, where the Swearing in ceremonies take place.
The Presidential Suites (where you’ll be allowed inside a bedroom meant for Official Aides)
The Oval Dining Hall (where foreign delegates have their meals)
A short drive inside Guindy National Park is included.
I enjoyed the experience of the Safari. Driving through the lanes greats in history and politics have traversed before me. Watching the Black Bucks galloping around and the Deer sunning themselves. Standing on the lawns where 2000 chosen and invited guests stand and salute the Indian Flag on 15th August and 26Th January every year.
The spacious campus is well maintained as are the buildings. Some of the buildings were built in 1672 (yes!), while the newer wings were added in 2008.
The Safari ends with Tea and Snacks laid out for you (a very pleasant surprise, considering the entrance fee) AND a laminated certificate of attendance, personalised with your name.
Written for the theme