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The Mandi royals’ house

delhi Updated: Nov 24, 2012 23:37 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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For hundreds and thousands of Doordarshan viewers, “Mandi House, Copernicus Marg” is an address that is hard to miss.

However, not everyone among the thousands of Delhiites passing the busy roundabout with the same name or for those boarding or de-boarding the train at the Mandi House Metro station are aware what house is Mandi House.

A stone building with multiple wings that houses the national headquarters of Doordarshan is today known as Mandi House. It was built at the same place in the 70s after demolishing the royal mansion by the same name.

Post 1911 declaration of Delhi as the capital (shifted from the then Calcutta), Britishers planned and came up with New Delhi, the plush VVIP area today, under the New Delhi Municipal Council.

After India Gate C hexagon was designed as part of the central axis, land around it was given to kings from bigger princely states. Next round of plots were allotted to those from smaller principalities.

Mandi was a princely state in Himachal Pradesh. The Raja of Mandi was given the plot for his residence on Copernicus Marg.

Old timers still remember the original building that belonged to the Mandi royal family, later taken over as government property.

"It had a mix of British and local architecture. The only trace of the old building is by way of two huge columns of the gate facing the Mandi House roundabout," said KT Ravindran, former Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) chief.