President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the historic, 110-year-old Darbar Hall of the Maharashtra Raj Bhavan at Malabar Hill on the shores of the Arabian Sea on Friday.
The President was flanked by his wife Savita Kovind, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Datta, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Maha Vikas Aghadi ministers, and top dignitaries.
This is the first major refurbishment of the glittering Darbar Hall which is the venue for top state and international events like swearing-in ceremonies of Governors, Chief Justice, Chief Ministers and Cabinet Ministers, and receiving important foreign VVIPs.
In its new ‘avatar’, the Darbar Hall seating capacity has been enhanced by more than triple, from 225 to 750, though all the heritage features of the place have been retained.
The renovation works started in 2019 and was completed in December 2021 with a new viewing gallery being added for a magnificent view of the Arabian Sea and surroundings.
The function was originally scheduled for December 8, but was cancelled as a mark of respect to the victims of the helicopter tragedy in Tamil Nadu which left at least 13 killed, including the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika.