President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday inaugurated Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhawan in the capital which will house the legendary Maratha ruler's memorial.

The Bhawan, built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial National Committee, will host a permanent exhibition on the life and times of the warrior king and a sound and light show on his naval victories against the Portuguese and the Dutch.

Inaugurating the building, the President hailed Shivaji for establishing a secular government which cared for the people.

She also noted that Shivaji was the first leader to govern his kingdom through the cabinet system and had an 'asthapradhan' (council of eight ministers) who looked after various matters like finance, law, foreign affairs and internal security.

The Bhawan, located in the Qutub Institutional Area, will also house a research centre for low-intensity warfare.

Committee President Vasant Sathe said the memorial to Shivaji was a dream of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Among others who attended the function were Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

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