Bikaner House was designed as the residence of the Rajput rulers of the princely state of Bikaner. In 1911, during the grand ceremonies of the Delhi Durbar, King George V announced that the capital of British India was to be moved from Calcutta to Delhi. The intention was to create a grand imperial presence in historic Delhi. The epicentre of their building project was the expansive rotary of the present-day India Gate. Called Princes’ Park, the iconic hexagonal layout had a grand and ceremonial aura and featured the residences of many of the Royal States of India.
Bikaner House was built during the rule of Maharaja Ganga Singh, Maharaja of princely state of Bikaner (1887 to 1943 AD). As Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes, he played a significant role in sustaining relationships between the Princely Houses and the Crown. Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker were initially given the task of designing the residence. Later, this was passed on to Charles G. Blomfield.
The architectural style of Bikaner House is predominantly western, with a few elements of Rajput traditions, most notably the chattris — the canopy styled dome. While in use as a royal residence, the ground floor hosted the reception suites, private rooms and guest rooms, while the zenana, or women’s quarters, was on the first floor. Its present form still reflects the regal grandeur and taste of its original patrons.
Bikaner House opened its doors to notable and distinguished guests on 18 February, 1929, when it hosted a grand house-warming party. Around the time of Indian independence in 1947, Bikaner House was the venue for many important meetings between Indian royal families, who deliberated their futures. This was where they considered the accession policy that would allow them to formally join independent India.
Categorised as a Grade II heritage building by the Archeological Survey of India, Bikaner House has been meticulously restored to its original form. It opened to the public on 18th of November 2015. It is now a world-class cultural centre run by the Government of Rajasthan.