Vidhana Soudha

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Vidhana Soudha
Vidhana Soudha as of 8 June 2022.jpg
Front facade of Vidhana Soudha, seen from Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Road
Vidhana Soudha is located in Bengaluru
Vidhana Soudha
Location of Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore
General information
TypeLegislative building
Architectural styleNeo-Dravidian
LocationBangalore, Karnataka
Coordinates12°58′47″N 77°35′26″E / 12.9796°N 77.5906°E / 12.9796; 77.5906Coordinates: 12°58′47″N 77°35′26″E / 12.9796°N 77.5906°E / 12.9796; 77.5906
Construction started1952
Cost14.8 million (US$190,000)
OwnerGovernment of Karnataka
Height46 m (150 ft)
Technical details
Floor count4 + 1 basement
Floor area51,144 m2 (550,505 sq ft)[1]
Design and construction
ArchitectB. R. Manickam and Kengal Hanumanthaiya
Main contractorKPWD

Vidhana Soudha (lit.'Legislative House') in Bangalore, India, is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka.[2] It is constructed in a style described as Neo-Dravidian,[3] and incorporates elements of various Dravidian styles.[1] Construction was started in 1952 and completed in 1956.[4]


The two houses of legislature of the princely state of Mysore, the legislative assembly and the legislative council, were established in 1881 and 1907 respectively. Sessions of the two houses took place in Mysore (with joint sessions taking place in the Bangalore Town Hall) until India's independence from British rule on 15 August 1947, when Mysore acceded to India. The state's capital was shifted to Bangalore; the two houses moved into Attara Kacheri, a British-built building in Cubbon Park that housed the High Court of Mysore.[2]

A need was felt for more spacious quarters for the legislature than Attara Kacheri, and in April 1951. The foundation stone of the building was laid by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, on 13 July 1951.[2][5][6] The structure was planned to be a two-storeyed building housing the assembly and the council.[5]

Kengal Hanumanthaiah succeeded as Chief Minister after the 1952 election in the state.[7] Calling the existing plan a "plain and simple type of American architecture", Hanumanthaiah ordered extensive revisions to produce "a work of art in keeping with the tradition of Mysore State". Apart from house chambers, the revised plan included government offices, archives, a library and a banquet hall. Construction of the building was completed in 1956. Hanumanthiah personally supervised and ordered several particular aspects of the construction; one of them was to inscribe "Government Work Is God's Work" and its Kannada equivalent on the entablature of the front facade.[5] The final design was meant to dwarf the British-built Attara Kacheri, currently the seat of the Karnataka High Court, opposite which Vidhana Soudha was being built.[5][8]


Estimates of construction costs for the original two-storied structure stood at 33 lakh (3.3 million) rupees.[5] The final cost of construction of the redesigned building was 180 lakh (18 million) rupees. Hanumanthaiah was criticised for the inflated sum - equivalent to ₹170 crore, or 1.7 billion (US$21 million) in 2019 - spent on construction.[5][9]


Built with granite, Vidhana Soudha is the largest legislative building in India. It measures 213.36 by 106.68 metres (700.0 by 350.0 ft) on the ground and is 53.34 metres (175.0 ft) tall.[5] The architecture includes elements of styles from the mediaeval Chalukya, Hoysala and Vijayanagara empires of Karnataka.[5] Its east-facing front facade has a porch with 12 granite columns, 12 metres (40 ft) tall. Leading to the porch is a flight of stairs with 45 steps, more than 61 metres (200 ft) wide. The central dome, 18 metres (60 ft) in diameter, is crowned by a likeness of the State Emblem of India.

The phrase "Government Work is God's Work" and its Kannada equivalent "Sarkarada kelasa devara kelasa" (in Kannada script as "ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ಕೆಲಸ ದೇವರ ಕೆಲಸ") are inscribed on the entablature.[1] In 1957, the Mysore government planned to replace the inscription with Satyameva Jayate at a cost of 7,500 (equivalent to 640,000 or US$8,000 in 2020),[9] but the change did not take place. In 1996, the inscription inspired a visiting US state governor, George Voinovich of Ohio, to propose etching "With God, all things are possible" onto the Ohio Statehouse, prompting a high-profile lawsuit.[10][additional citation(s) needed]

The cost of construction at that time wasc 17.5 million (equivalent to 1.7 billion or US$21 million in 2020). Currently, annual maintenance cost is more than 20 million (US$250,000) including repairs, painting, and other miscellaneous expenses.[citation needed]


Vikasa Soudha[edit]

The Karnataka government constructed a replica named Vikasa Soudha to the south of the building. Initiated by the then Chief Minister S. M. Krishna and inaugurated in February 2005, it is intended to be an annexe building, housing some of the ministries and legislative offices.[11][12]

Suvarna Vidhana Soudha[edit]

The Suvarna Vidhana Soudha (lit.'Golden Legislative House') is the legislature building of the State of Karnataka in Belgaum in the Belgaum district of Northern Karnataka. It was inaugurated on 11 October 2012 by President Pranab Mukherjee.[13]


It is located on Ambedkar Veedhi or Dr Ambedkar Rd, Seshadripuram.[14] Across from Vidhana Soudha is the High Court of Karnataka. Both buildings are in Cubbon Park, which is located near the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA).


  1. ^ a b c B., Madhumitha (31 October 2010). "Soudha: A tale of sweat and toil". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 31 October 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "The people's palace". Deccan Herald. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  3. ^ Lang, Jon T. (2002). A concise history of modern architecture in India. Orient Blackswan. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-81-7824-017-6.
  4. ^ "Vidhana Soudha".
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Nair, Janaki (November 2002). "Past Perfect: Architecture and Public Life in Bangalore". The Journal of Asian Studies. 61 (4): 1205–1236. doi:10.2307/3096440. ISSN 0021-9118. JSTOR 3096440.
  6. ^ "The Hindu : Not just brick and mortar". 23 October 2002. Archived from the original on 23 October 2002. Retrieved 1 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ Harish Ramaswamy; S. S. Patagundi; Shankaragouda Hanamantagouda Patil (2007). Karnataka government and politics. Concept Publishing Company. p. 61. ISBN 978-81-8069-397-7.
  8. ^ Ranganna, T. S. (29 August 2012). "A wall at Vidhana Soudha demolished". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  9. ^ a b Kapoor, P. C., ed. (1957). "'Government's Work Is God's Work'—Inscription To Go". Civic Affairs. Vol. 5. Citizen Press. p. 44 – via Google Books. The Mysore Government has decided to erase the inscription "Government work is God's work" on the facade of Vidhana Soudha, the Rs. 1.5 crore colossal Legislature and Secretariat buildings... which has been a subject of considerable controversy. It is proposed to replace this inscription with another, Satyameva Jayate, which is inscribed under the Asoka Chakra in the national emblem. This change is expected to cost Rs. 7,500. The huge expenditure incurred for the construction of Vidhana Soudha had been the subject of considerable criticism both inside the Legislature and outside.
  10. ^ American Civil Liberties Union v. Capitol Square Review, 20 F. Supp. 2d 1176 (S.D. Ohio 1998).
  11. ^ "13-yr-old Vikasa Soudha gets into 'heritage list'". Bangalore Mirror. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  12. ^ "15 years on, netas still see Vikasa as the lesser Soudha, insist on Vidhana office". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  13. ^ "A new chapter begins today". The Hindu. 11 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Metro Green Line launch: No parking in CBD". The Hindu. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.

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