Rashtrapati Bhavan museum opens to public this Friday

Rashtrapati Bhavan museum opens to public this Friday
Highlights

Rashtrapati Bhavan museum opens to public this Friday, President Pranab Mukherjee will on Friday declare open to the public, a museum at Rashtrapati Bhavan, an official statement said on Wednesday.

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee will on Friday declare open to the public, a museum at Rashtrapati Bhavan, an official statement said on Wednesday. Housed in what used to be stables and a coach house used by the British rulers, the museum has been dedicated to the nation by the president, who completed two years in office earlier this month, the statement said.

President Pranab Mukherjee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum on July 25

“The museum will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm. Entry to the museum will be through Gate No.30 on Mother Teresa Crescent Road and is free of cost. Bookings can be made through www.presidentofindia.nic.in,” it said.

However, from November 1, Rs 25 per head would be charged as registration fee by the Rashtrapati Bhavan to “maintain and improve services to public”. Children below 12 years will be exempted from the fee.

“Visitors in group of 30 people will be charged Rs 600 lump sum per visit and Rs 25 per visitor for additional persons,” said the statement.

The museum showcases landmark events like planning and construction of Raisina Hill edifices, signing of Gandhi-Irwin pact in the erstwhile Viceroy's House, meeting of leaders to take a decision on the partition of India and oath taking ceremonies, held in Durbar Hall, of first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and first President Babu Rajendra Prasad.

The museum will narrate the story of the presidential palace using sound, light and video animations, laser and holographic projections and augmented reality. Each room will relate a story about India right from the Delhi Durbar of 1911 when the capital of British India was shifted to Delhi and Edward Lutyens was tasked with building seats of government.

It has a simulated battlefield, examples of furniture designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for the Viceroy's residence, ceremonial coaches, photographs and memorabilia of the President's bodyguard and paintings of the 19th century.

It has a 'know your Presidents enclave' to help visitors identify different Presidents and see audio-video clippings related to them.

The museum, replete with gifts that previous Presidents received, has been curated and raised to showcase the history since 1911 till the contemporary times.

The museum, situated inside the President's Estate, has a collection of art items received by different Presidents as gifts from individuals and institutions and displays paintings, sketches and decorative furniture items.

Among the fascinating artefacts displayed in the museum are two gold-plated silver thrones used by the Royal couple in Delhi Durbar of 1911, furniture items designed and made by Edwin Lutyens, a ceremonial Victorian coach, a double decker hunting coach, paintings by the Daniels, M F Hussain and many other illustrious artists, and gifts received from heads of states from many countries round the globe.

A walk-through diorama with audio-visual narration presents a small collection of arms used in different battles of the 18th century, the great Indian Mutiny, Anglo-Sikh wars and Afghan wars inside the museum, which has been created after converting a 'stable block and coach house'.

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