Punjab Raj Bhavan

History of Punjab

The current state of Punjab, comprising an area of 50,362 KM came into being on 1st November 1966, when, using the linguistic principle, Haryana (area: 44212 KM) was carved out of it, and out of the hill regions of Punjab, the state of Himachal Pradesh (area: 55673 KM) was created. Earlier, at the time of independence, using the unfortunate and incorrect principle that a state should be based on religion, the British colonial government had hived off an area of 205344 KM for those Punjabis who were Muslims.

The name 'Punjab' for the land of five rivers dates back to the time of the Mughal emperor Akbar who included in Punjab the subahs of Multan and Lahore. Maharaja Ranjit Singh brought all these territories together to create the first Sikh state of modern times. He also extended its reach to include the regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

The territory of Punjab has been host to one of the earliest known human civilisations, the Indus Valley Civilisation. One of the earliest universities of India, Takshshila, dating to the time before the Buddha, was in Punjab.

In the fifteenth century, with the advent of Guru Nanak Dev, Punjab saw a new ideology taking shape in the form of Sikhism. Sikhism promoted a sense of equality and service. Guru Nanak started the institution of 'langar', eating food together out of common kitchen that fostered a unique sense of community. Over the years, protests by the people of Punjab, especially the peasantry, at being exploited by the Mughals, were led by the Sikh Gurus. The Mughals retaliated by intensifying the oppression. As a result, from the time of Guru Har Gobind, the Sikhs also took to weapons. Soon they emerged as one of the leading martial community of India. The sense of community was so strong that even Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first Sikh ruler of a modern state in India, ruled in the name of the community rather than declare himself the sovereign.

The British colonial government inducted Sikh soldiers into the army in the aftermath of the Sepoy mutiny of 1857. The unfortunate colonial insistence on creating states based on religion resulted in the partition of Punjab in 1947. It took considerable effort on the part of Sikh leaders like Sardar Partap Singh Kairon (chief minister 1956-1964) to exorcise this incorrect idea from the minds of people. Punjab since then has been a land where all religious groups have lived amicably, without rancour. A brief period of political turmoil did happen when a few persons in Punjab, egged on by outsiders with malafide intentions, took to violence in the name of religion. However, to the credit of the people of Punjab, they roundly rebuffed these designs.

Since independence Punjab has emerged as the grain bowl of India. Even in the 1950s, when other parts of India were suffering from food shortage, Punjab was in a position to offer grain to shortage hit regions like Kashmir and Tamilnadu. Punjab also stood in the forefront of defending the nation against aggressors. Soldiers from Punjab played a major role on each occasion when enemy threatened India. It is worth mentioning that almost half of the gold donated to the National Defence Fund during the crisis of 1962, came from Punjab.And half of that came from the traders of Amritsar alone.

Raj Bhavan's History

In 1953, March, Le Corbusier drew some of the first sketches of the Governor's Palace. The Governor's Palace was to be part of the four components of the Capitol Complex, housing the House of Ministers (Secretariat), House of Justice (the High Court) and the House of Members (the Vidhan Sabha). In the end this 'palace' was never built.

The Sketch of the Capitol Complex By Le Corbusier

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Sketch of the Capitol Complex by Le Corbusier showing the four ‘Houses’ for a democracy: the House of Ministers (Secretariat), the House of Members (Vidhan Sabha), the House of Justice (High Court) and the Governor’s Palace (never built)

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The west face of the Circuit House built by Jeanneret. The block houses an elevator that was added to the building as an afterthought

But the Governor needed a place to live and from which to work. It was decided to let him occupy the Circuit House that Pierre Jeanneret had designed. Jeanneret was already working over the design of the Panjab University and other government buildings. In fact, Chandigarh in which its people live is actually the creation of Jeanneret. Only the grand buildings and the grand market place at Sector 17 is attributable to Corbusier.
The Circuit House was designed by Jeanneret to match with the broad philosophy of Corbusier— to be sturdy, unpretentious, functional and provide comfort to the people who lived and worked there. Its original function was to provide a comfortable place for the senior servants of the government when they visited Chandigarh. It was designed as a building where function was primary rather than pomp. Jeanneret used the design of a traditional Indian villa for this building.
There were a number of notable elements incorporated in its design. The most important was to save those residing in the building from the savage summer heat. Orienting all spaces towards north or east, protecting south and west facades by verandahs or shading devices and the use of cavity walls, perforated parapets, water bodies, trees and shrubs, ensured that the insides of the building were saved from the savage summer heat and naturally cool.