Raj Bhavan, Bhopal - it is open to public twice a week

/Raj Bhavan, Bhopal.  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Lal Kothi, Bhopal   MP.governor.mp.gov.in/

Sultan Shah Jahan of Bhopal, MP. pinrest.com

Named Lal Kothi  it was the official residence of the  British political agents  who used to visit Bhopal on official work during the colonial days. Then Bhopal was part of a princely state. In 1880, Sultan Shah Jahan, Begum of Bhopal constructed the  structure which is now being  used as Raj Bhavan  by the Indian government and it is the official residence of the Governor of Bhopal . Lal Kothi was built for the comfortable stay of the British Agent under the crown administration, London. It served as a Guest House for the British officials from Raj on official assignment. During the early colonial rule under the East India Company an official agreement was made between the British and the ruler  Nawab Major Mohammad Khan  (1818-19), in the follow-up, a Political Agent was  appointed by the British Indian Government to be stationed at Sehore  along with  a British Armed Force to beef up the protection of the state. in unison with the ruler's forces.

rajbhavn, Bhopal, MP. governor.mp.gov.in/

As a matter of fact many  colonial buildings built for the British agents  were converted into Raj Bhavan after India's freedom.  As for Lal Kothi it was taken over by the Indian Union on 1 June 1949, ending 250 years of princely rule. The Indian government here was headed by the Chief Commissioner and as the official administrator he used to stay in Lal Kothi; hence, it was called Commissioner's residence.  Upon state reorganization Act of 1956, Bhopal was integrated into Madhya Pradesh  with Bhopal as the Capital. 

An interesting fact is in those days for the visiting British dignitaries  special  security  was provided to them during their stay here.  The city was confined to Fort Fatehgarh  in 1880. Now, the fort is in a dilapidate conditions and one could see the vestiges near the   Hamidia Hospital and Gandhi Medical College. Outside the fort  area formed  Cantonment for the Bhopal Regiment.

Lal Kothi was built in European architecture  with a fine court yard and the architect was  Austate Cook (a French Engineer). The total built-up area is   15,423 sq ft  and the total cost was around  Rs. 72,878. First Kothi in the city, its roof is made of red china clay  Kavelus' and almost the entire building is in red color. The distinctive color and the European style made it stand apart from other old structures. This impressive building has high arched doorways. With the presidential suite decorated with whitewood furniture giving the look of ivory.  The room is decorated with antique vases, paintings of the city.  A  British cannon that dates back to 1796 and procured from Allahabad is placed near the flagpole on the campus. .The durbar hall well decorated with wooden furniture was meant for oath-taking ceremony by the officers, meeting ministers and delegation.  According to the officials Panchtantra park, a birdhouse and medicinal garden developed in the recent past. 

There is a small masjid close to Kothi on the campus. As Bhopal happened to be a Muslim state, whenever the feudal lords constructed a building  the  foundation stone for the masjid was laid first.

Raj Bhavam (Lal Kothi)  Bhopal. MP.

Lal Kothi in the olden days, Bhopal. governor.mp.gov.in/

 The Governor of Madhya Pradesh  in August 2019 made a decision to   throw open the gates of Raj Bhavan  Every Tuesday and Thursday, the public could visit the Governor's residence. The huge t gardens around   Lal Kothi  has  blooming flowers such as zi sunflowers, lilies, etc. The visitors will get a chance to enjoy  a glimpse of the historic monument