Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the second phase of the Rashtrapati Bhawan Museum on Monday to mark the completion of four years of the President Pranab Mukherjee. A museum on the grounds of the Presidential complex was announced by President Pranab Mukherjee in 2014. The first phase of the museum was inaugurated on July 25, 2014 to mark two years of Mukherjee as President.
Sprawling across 1.30 lakh square feet space, it is the country’s first underground museum. Designed by museologist Saroj Ghose, the uniqueness of the museum lies in its projection of historical artefacts in the form of virtual-reality storytelling projects.
The museum showcases a collection of relics associated with each of the past presidents of India along with a range of vestiges reflecting upon the history of India’s freedom struggle. The president explained in his inaugural address that his motive in opening a museum within the premises of Rashtrapati Bhawan is to generate greater awareness among the public about the way the office of the president functions.
Here are the key attractions of Rashtrapati Bhawan Museum
Meet with the President
A large television screen set up inside the museum showcases a replica of the president’s study. On the press of a button attached to it, the visitor can see himself/herself meeting with the first citizen of the country.
Walk with Mahatma Gandhi
A virtual reality experience within the precincts of the museum tells the story of Mahatma Gandhi signing the Gandhi Irwin pact at the Viceroy house and then walking out from there. A tabloid also features Gandhi’s Dandi march.
Be part of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the Swadeshi movement
A tableau depicts the bloody rampage at Jallianwala Bagh that took place in 1919. An exhibit of wax statues on the other hand portrays a group of nationalist fighters setting to fire European clothes in their struggle to boycott the British.
Lessons on the presidential post through a hand shadow show
A unique hand shadow show gives a tutorial to visitors on the way the President of India is elected, the Parliament building and the President’s house. The shadow show also gives information on other key aspects of the country such as the national emblem.
Apart from these, a large number of paintings dating back to the British period have been put on display and so is a collection personal belongings of all the thirteen presidents of India. Collections also include rare photographs of the President House and the national movement, gifts received by the presidents from all around the globe and also vehicles driven by the presidents over the years.
This large repository of history and knowledge would be made available to public from October 2nd of this year and tickets can be booked beforehand on the Rashtrapati Bhawan website.