The magnificent Vidhana Soudha is the largest legislature-cum-secretariat
building in the country. Situated in the heart of the city,
the state secretariat building is essentially Indian in style.
It is built mainly on the
union of Dravidian, Rajasthani, Chola and Kannada styles
of architecture, which evolved in India. The ornamental motifs,
floral patterns and chiselled geometric designs are all distinct
and not a single design has been repeated. The woodwork throughout
the monument is exceptional, particularly the sandalwood doors,
which are famous for their intricate carvings. The floral
motifs of the stone-carvings are Dravidian in style
and are drawn entirely from the temple-craft of Karnataka
and Tamil Nadu.
During an interview, the Chief Minister
of the erstwhile Mysore State (1951 to 1956), Kengal Hanumanthaiah,
explained the reasoning behind the architectural styles of
the monument. A Russian cultural delegation was visiting Bangalore
and K Hanumanthaiah took them around to show the city.
Every now and then they queried, "Have you no architecture
of your own? They are all European buildings". Stung,
K Hanumanthaiah, vowed to create a monument so magnificent
that it would showcase the best of South India's indigenous
The stone-structure is built entirely with the granite excavated
from the vicinity of Hesaragatta and Mallasandra.
The grand entrance of the Vidhana Soudha faces the
Attara Kacheri (now called the High Court), another
imposing structure. There was a debate on constructing a separate
the Secretariat and the Legislature, the latter being a simple
building and the former having decoration and adornment. K
Hanumanthaiah was of the view that by having two separate
buildings, time, space and expenditure would be doubled and
there would be inordinate delay in going from one building
to the other.
The entire building of Vidhana Soudha covers an area of 720x360
ft. At the centre of the building is an open quadrangle of
260x250 ft. The building consists of three floors, each over
1.3 lakh sq. feet, and a top floor of 1.01 lakh sq. ft and
storage rooms in the cellar. The Banquet Hall (192x120 ft.)
has to be approached from the east, while the Assembly Hall
above this measures 132x125 ft. and the Council Hall to the
South measures 100x78 ft. On the third floor is the Cabinet
Meeting Hall and on all the floors in the northern wing are
halls measuring 80x40 ft. On the eastern side is a porch with
eight tall decorated cylindrical granite columns of 40 ft.
Granite stones of different colours found in and around Bangalore
were used for the building. The building's four corners have
four towers, supporting domes topped by metallic kalashas,
one of which is bigger and taller than the others and
has been placed at the front (east). Two small towers flank
it. The metallic gold glittering national emblem atop the
majestic dome was artistically wrought by a sculptor from
Bangalore, Shilpi Shamachar.The ideas from many old Indian
buildings were borrowed and incorporated in this dream building
of Kengal Hanumanthaiah.
The average cost of construction was Rs 30 per square feet.
About 5,000 labourers and 1,500 sculptors worked for it under
a team of engineers led by B R Manikam.
The Vidhana Soudha project, from conception, execution
and completion can be attributed completely to the dynamic
leadership of late K Hanumanthaiah. His grand vision
was of an imposing monument vital on the city's sightseeing
map combined with a seat of excellence from which the government