Cuttack: The president of India, Ram Nath Kovind, Saturday dedicated the Anand Bhawan Museum & Learning Centre to the nation. The museum features the personal belongings of the legendary leader Biju Patnaik.

Anand Bhawan, the ancestral house of Biju Patnaik was donated to the state government by his daughter Geeta Mehta and sons Naveen Patnaik Patnaik and Prem Patnaik in January 2015. It was developed into a memorial museum by the state government by investing Rs 1.8 crore.

inaugurated the museum in the presence of Biju Patnaik’s son and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other dignitaries at a special function here.

“Biju Patnaik’s legacy is above party politics and not only Odisha but all of India is proud of him,” said Kovind Kovind, who reached Odisha with his wife Savita Kovind here on Saturday on his maiden visit to the state.

Addressing a gathering at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here, he said Biju Patnaik was one among the prominent leaders in the country who always advocated for women empowerment and did everything for the honour and people of Kalinga.

“There were two Anand Bhawans in the country during freedom struggle– one at Cuttack & another at Allahabad where strategies for gaining independence were discussed,” he said.

“When Biju Babu was minister of steel, he was called the Steel Man in Delhi,” Kovind recalled.

Before inaugurating the museum, the President paid floral tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at his birthplace here.

Biju Patnaik was born on March 5, 1916 at Anand Bhawan built by his father Laxmi Narayan Patnaik. He spent most of his childhood there. The museum displays some rate photographs of Biju Patnaik narrating his role in the freedom struggle of India and Indonesia.