14:22 GMT +306 December 2019
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    Asiatic Lily's bloom in the Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Presidential Palace, in New Delhi

    Virtual Tour of History: Indian Prime Minister Inaugurates New Hi-Tech Museum

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    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the Rashtrapati Bhavan museum that will allow visitors to experience meeting with all thirteen presidents, walk alongside Mahatma Gandhi and see presidents’ personal belongings, all on the grounds of the presidential residence.

    The new hi-tech storytelling museum was inaugurated on Monday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mark the completion of four years of Pranab Mukherjee as the Head of State.

    ​In July 2014, President Pranab Mukherjee announced construction of the museum on the grounds of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, which in Hindi means "the President's House."

    Designed by indigenous museum maker Saroj Ghose, it is the country's first underground museum spread over 130,000 ft2 (12,077 m2) and built at a cost of 800 million Indian Rupees (US $11,920,000).

    The Rashtrapati Bhavan museum will be open to the public from October 2. Visitors will be able to take a virtual walk with Mahatma Gandhi as he came out of the Rashtrapati Bhavan after signing the historic Gandhi-Irwin Pact on March 5, 1931. Another key attraction will allow to virtually meet all 13 presidents as 3D holographic projections who will give short speeches. The visitors will also be able to hitch a ride in the president's buggy through augmented reality. In addition, the museum will showcase a large exhibition of paintings dating back to the British period, rare photographs and relics. A collection of personal belongings of all thirteen Indian Presidents and their gifts received from all around the globe will also be put on display.

    In his speech at the inauguration of the Rashtrapati Bhavan museum, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Rashtrapati Bhavan museum is a combination of history, art, imagination and technology, and he requested everyone to visit this museum as it is a great attempt to revive history.

    ​President Pranab Mukherjee explained in his inaugural address that his motive in opening a museum within the premises of Rashtrapati Bhavan was to generate greater awareness among the public about the way the office of the president functions.

    "Rashtrapati Bhavan had been a mute witness to the evolution of history in the modern period and of the time when the largest functional democracy of the world started operating," he noted.

    The Prime Minister also extended his heartiest greetings to President Mukherjee on completion of his four years in the office.

    ​After the inaugural ceremony, both the Prime Minister and the President took a tour of Rashtrapati Bhavan museum.

    The President also launched a tourist-centric micro-site on the Rashtrapati Bhavan website which will contain information on the presidential residence as a tourist destination and its three new tourist circuits namely, the main building, museums and the gardens.


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