The old garage space at the Rashtrapati Bhawan has now been converted into a museum, which will be thrown open to the public on 2 October 2016. In 2014, the part of the complex where the stables were was also transformed into a museum of a similar kind. Together, along with the Clock Tower, the area is now called the Museum Complex.
Acclaimed museum maker Saroj Ghosh served as the advisor for this museum.
The current president, Pranab Mukherjee, according to officials, wanted such a museum space to be set up here. Venu Rajamony, Press Secretary to the President, says, “During the initial days of the tenure of the President, he wanted to know and explain to the public the specific details about President’s house and about the important treaties which took place here. This place came into being due to his deep interest in history.”
Talking about the idea of this museum, Rajamony says, “Our aim is to take people on a tour of history and turning Rashtrapati Bhawan from a high-security region to a visitor-friendly place.”
The museum displays various artworks of historical interest, often touching upon life at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. There will also be guides to take the visitors around the facility.
The ground gallery is dedicated to the memorabilia of the freedom struggle. There is also a display of carriages and a Mercedes car used by the former Presidents. A scale model of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, along with rubber silicon sculptures of the important people associates with its construction, can also be seen here. There is a separate art gallery within the same complex, which will give contemporary artists a chance to display their works from time to time. Through animated stage setting and interactive multimedia techniques, the central area of the ground floor displays a montage of some of the landmarks of Indian history.
Dedicated to the former Presidents, the upper basement at the Rashtrapati Bhawan Museum is quite a delight to walk through. Along with the gifts offered by various countries to our Presidents, this region also displays the holographic projections and three dimensional holographs of former Presidents speaking to the visitors. The virtual reality room here is expected to lure most visitors as it allows people to walk alongside Mahatma Gandhi out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Apart from this, there are multiple interactive mediums for engaging audiences belonging to various age groups.
The lower basement houses several paintings of British kings and queens. These are part of collections which were earlier displayed at the Marble Hall and other exhibition spaces within the Bhawan. The paintings are lit up by sensor lights which get activated as soon as a visitor steps in front of the canvas. Paintings from modern and contemporary artists are also presented here. A 3D theatre and a seven screen projection narrating the history of Rashtrapati Bhawan are also part of this floor.
Spread over an area of 10,000 square metres, the three-storey museum uses superior technology to display the various aspects of Rashtrapati Bhawan to visitors. It is the perfect place for art and culture lovers of the city.
The visiting hours are scheduled between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum complex will be closed on Mondays and other government holidays. There is a charge of Rs 50 for visitors and no fee will be levied on children below eight years. Online bookings are also open for the public. The museum entry will be from Gate No. 30