The IGNCA was launched on 19th November, 1985 by the late Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi at a function where the symbolism of the components was clearly articulated at different levels. The elements – fire, water, earth, sky and vegetation – were brought together. Five rocks from five five major rivers – Sindhu, Ganga, Kaveri, Mahanadi and the Narmada (where the most ancient ammonite fossils are found) were composed into sculptural forms. These will remain at the site as reminders of the antiquity of Indian culture and the sacredness of her rivers and her rocks. In a simulated pool, the first of the principles of vegetation, the lotus bloomed. Shri Rajiv Gandhi floated lighted lamps on the water.


Foundation stone was one of an ancient ‘Deodar’ trees


The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts Trust was constituted and registered at New Delhi on 24th March 1987.

The founder trustees of IGNCA were Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Shri R. Venkataraman, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, Smt. Pupul Jayakar, the Finance Minister of 1987, Shri H. Y. Sharada Prasad and Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan.


Shri Rajiv Gandhi floating lamp on a lotus leaf


Audience at the inauguration of IGNCA