A pictorial walk through Rashtrapati Bhawan Museum

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Victoria Coach at RBMC

Victoria Coach

This coach has been a part of the collection of coaches for over 100 years. The Victoria coach is used by the Presidents and at times by their family members.

 

Finally we got lucky! Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex (RBMC) walk by INTACH was calling😍 It was a pleasant day, thankfully, as from the next day the cold wave was to descend.

The vastness and the silence that surrounds the areas around the museum is calming. Pristine white buildings surrounded by greenery. The feel took me back to my hometown.

There are two museums, one old and the other new. We went to the latter which was dedicated to the nation in 2016 by Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India in the presence of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, then the President of India.

The new museum was built under the supervision of museologist Saroj Ghose and is currently the only underground museum in the country.

 

The Old & The New

The exterior is still the same as changes on the outside cannot be made in any of the building within the Rashtrapati Bhavan campus. The new museum thus spreads on the ground and basement levels. The older one is at the ground level only and much smaller.

This post will take you through a visual tour of the museum with a bit of notes & trivia here and there. I had a challenging time trying to select the photos that would go in this post. What is being showcased is not even the tip of the iceberg. So you can imagine what is there in store when you do visit it in person.

The Old Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum

The front facade of the previous RBM

 

Inside the old RBM ; outer view of the galleries

 

The New Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum

The front facade of the new RBM

 

 

 

The Old & The New Gallery

Both the galleries have some wonderful things to offer. Having said that the new one sees use of technology, more area which means more display and spread across floors unlike the old one which is only one level.


The Old Museum Gallery

Painted entrance to the Old RBMC gallery

 

 Furniture that once belonged to the Rajendra suite gifted by people of Saurashtra

 

Free India Moment! 1st PM of India, Pt. J L Nehru with then Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten

 

Uniform of President’s bodyguard over the years

 

Inside the old RBMC

 

Mementos Gallery

The New Museum Gallery

First sketch of Rashtrapati Bhavan by Sir Edwin Lutyen

 

Edwin Landseer Lutyens and Herbert Baker were the architects behind the presidential house, earlier known as the Viceroy’s House. The chief engineers were Hugh Keeling and Sir Teja Singh Malik and contractors were Sujan Singh along with his son Sardar Bahadur Sir Sobha Singh and Haroun-al-Rashid,

Trivia: Apparently the design by Baker was approved but in the end things worked in favor of well connected Luytens who led the making of this monumental estate.

Trivia: Viceroy and Governor-General Lord Irwin was the first occupant of the house. C Rajagopalachari was the first Indian to be the resident of the house when we was made the Governor General in 1948. The Viceroy House was renamed to Rashtrapati Bhavan by Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India.

The team behind Rashtrapati Bhavan

 

The Constitution of India. One can flip through its digital copy too.

Paintings

A painting each by: (L-R) Raja Ravi Verma and Amrita Sher-Gil

 

Delicate Chinese paintings

 

Painting of Queen Elizabeth probably by Sir Gerald Kelly

 

Stamps (some of them) over the years

 

Kitchen & Dining

One of the designs I liked in the crockery section

 

Kitchen utensils during the times of erstwhile Presidents

 

Some of the crockery range on display

Most Beloved President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Portrait of ex-President Late Abdul Kalam using the word “missile man”

 

An interesting art-meets-science work by A S Virdi gifted to ex President Kalam

 

Mementos

This section is full of exotic gifts that Presidents received from different parts of the world, including ones from their  country states/people. Every item is exquisite and you may find yourself going wow on every breath. I am sharing a few of them.

‘Kumbula i Africa’ means ‘Remember Africa’. This beautiful memento is a hand made Tribal Chess Set with Tribal people of Southern Africa (here the Zulu and Ndebele tribes). The wood used to make this is Kiaat and Koto

Kumbula-i-Africa handcrafted wooden chess board

 

One of the numerous gifts received by Presidents of India. Seen here a golden ‘Ship of Friendship’

 

One of the 24K gold leaf plaque received by Presidents of India

 

Famous temples of India mementos

 

Clove Boat, boat model made entirely using the spice, clove. This was gifted to (ex) President Dr. Rajendra Prasad by H. E. Dr. Sukarno, (ex) President of Indonesia

Boat made entirely of cloves

 

I loved this memento 💓 A beautiful Mixed Media (Metal, Wood, Acrylic Paint) work by Arthur P Y Ting (Singapore) This is a three-dimensional representations of Peranakan architectural feature. the doors and windows open & close 😄

Mixed Media (Metal, Wood, Acrylic Paint) memento made by Arthur P Y Ting (Singapore)

 

From the pages of history

Handcrafted wooden replica of India Gate with a framed water painting of it

 

Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, the official coat of arms of the British monarch

 

Brass replica of British Crown

 

This coach has been part of the collection of coaches for over 100 years now. It is extremely heavy and used for taming and training of young horses, Once trained they are inducted to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to pull the coaches.

Training coach

 

A glimpse of one of the many furniture designed by Sir Edwin Luyten

 

Single marble sculptures of King George V & Queen Mary, the founding forces behind Lutyen’s Delhi

 

A view of the floors inside the New RBM

 

Life like statue and embossed representation of Presidents of India

 

The salt march led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930

 

The Virtual 3D Walk with Gandhi

There is a room wherein Mahatma Gandhi is seen walking out of the Viceroy’s House (now the Rashtrapati Bhavan) after meeting Lord Irwin. Technology allows us to be a part of the walk. We can click a photo too of this virtual reality walk. Sounds cool 😄 Here’s the pic of our group taken by me 👇

Virtual 3D Walk with Gandhi 

 

The Clock Tower

The Clock Tower dates back to 1925 and was built by Sir Edwin Lutyens. It was earlier known as the Band House as it was built for band practices of the British Army. The clock system installed in the tower was manufactured by the famous J.B. Joyce & Company of England. The restoration of this clock was undertaken by IIT, Delhi in 2015 and the restoration of the building was taken care by INTACH, Delhi. The restoration work ensured that most if not all of the originals including the plaster were preserved.

Clock Tower earlier known as Band House

 

Residences at the RBMC

 

Lion Capital of Ashoka also National Emblem of India

 

 

Panoramic view of the RBMC, housing both the new and the old museums

 

One can book their visit slot through either source.

For booking your Circuit tour(s) directly:  https://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in/rbtour/

For being part of the INTACH RBMC walk:  https://www.facebook.com/Intach-Heritage-Walks-199442496810218/

 

 

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HAPPY  TRAVELLING!
Monika Ohson | TravelerInMe

 

 

 

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