With a rich blend of tradition, culture, diversity, and landscapes, India is not a country that is likely to be forgotten, once visited. The heavy tapestry of cultural heritage goes beyond 5000 years. Our country has a vibrant array of museums which showcase various artefacts that paint a beautiful picture of our glorious past. One can say that visiting a museum is like travelling through time because the wide range of collectibles has the power to transport us to a bygone era.
India is home to Asia’s largest museum— The Indian Museum, which is also referred to as the Imperial Museum at Calcutta. It was established in the year 1841 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal and since then, it has only grown. It has a one of a kind collection of paintings, weapons, ornaments and whatnot. Among its many treasures, the Indian Museum boasts a Bharhut Gallery, Bronze Gallery, Egypt Gallery, Coin Gallery, L. Archaeology Gallery and a Mask Gallery. This museum is one of the oldest museums in the world and is a jewel on Kolkata’s crown. Hundreds of visitors flock to the museum each day and it is known to have at least three school day trips in a month. The ancient building encloses a lush green lawn where one can sit, unwind and soak in the grandeur.
Also referred to as the Madras Museum, this museum is located in Egmore, which is one of the busiest locations of Chennai. This museum was established in the year 1851 and is still one of the most visited tourist sites in Chennai. The Madras Museum can be called a science museum as well but it is so much more than that. It is home to various galleries like the Anthropology, Archaeology, Botany, Zoology et cetera and apart from these, they have a very unique children’s museum which exhibit technology, world cultures and civilizations, thereby, inspiring and educating the young mind. The Madras Museum has a spectacular library which has tens of thousands of books on religion, languages, cultures, science, history et cetera from what seems was the beginning of time.
Situated strategically only a few kilometres apart from the Gateway of India, this museum was built in the beginning of the twentieth century. It has three main sections, namely the archaeology section, natural history section and the art section. Its artefacts exhibited in this museum take us back to the era of Gupta and Chaulkya.
Standing proud and erect at Janpath, is the National Museum one of the best location to visit in delhi which was established in 1949.Since its inception on August the 15th, it has acquired its collectibles through gifts and archaeological practices and now it has almost 200000 different objects from around the world. There are armours and weapons, paintings, ‘Anubhav- The Tactile Galler’, ancient manuscripts, jewellery and a lot more. There is also a special Buddhist Section that houses important artefacts which can help us understand the religion and its pillars. It does not only exhibit things from in and around the nation but from around the globe like Pre-Columbian and Western Art. The National Museum provides the visitor with a wholesome experience of rich diverse cultures and the heart is left wanting more.
Uttarayan is dedicated to the memory of India’s national poet, Rabindranath Tagore. It is located in Santiniketan, which was also home to this great poet. Essentially an art museum, Uttarayan showcases his literary and art works and gives us an insight to his personal life and family life. It tries to encapsulate Tagore’s eighty years.
Located in the heart of Kolkata, is the Victoria Memorial. As the name suggests, the museum is dedicated to Queen Victoria and her time here. The monument was actually a palace built for her and after her death, it was converted to a memorial. Flanked by lush green lawns and beautiful fountains and blooming gardens on all sides, the whole compound is a visual treat and one of the gems of the city. Victoria Memorial is the city’s pride and it houses everything which was once associated with Queen Victoria, be it her gorgeous gowns or notebooks or the currency of that time or the uniforms of her guards. Built from white Makrana marbles, the Victoria Memorial satisfies ones aesthetic senses completely.
Hyderabad’s Salar Jung Museum is also one of the most sought after museums of India and, is a national museum and was built in the year 1951. This museum showcases a plethora of items from the time of the various Nawabs that ruled there. It has a beautiful collection of Mughal painting, attires, accessories and along with it, a collection of manuscripts, the books that were read and published and the quills which were used. The Salar Jung museum also houses a greta collection of clocks, textiles and bronze artefacts from China, Nepal, Egypt, Burma and many other places.
The National Rail Museum is situated in Chanakyapuri, over a sprawling ground of 10 acres. This museum, as the nomenclature suggests, has an exhibition of more than a hundred trains from the Indian railways. There are other exhibits as well like furniture and vintage photographs. Another very interesting aspect is that a toy train tours the area with the visitors.
This museum is indeed one of its kind because it is a museum of dolls only! Situated in Delhi, this museum has more than 150 glass cases of dolls from New Zealand, UK, USA, China, Egypt, and Korea. It has dolls from every country that one could possibly think of. The dolls do not just look pretty but also suggest a lot about the cultures of the places and how over time, the styles and faces have evolved.
The Napier Museum, built in the 19th century, is the oldest museum in Thiruvanthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. Named after Lord Napier, this museum is home to a beautiful collection of historical artefacts like the Kathakkali puppets, musical instruments and the mighty Keralian chariots. There is also a plethora of bronze figures of Gods and Goddesses. The Napier museum gives the visitor a look into the rich cultural heritage of Kerala.
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Apart from the aforementioned heritage museums of India, there are a lot of others that give the visitor a visual treat and something to ponder upon. Museums are not just educational or informative. It is so much fun to walk down an aisle that has clothes, weapons, books and armours on both sides and that too from another era! Museums are beautiful, thrilling, and insightful and nobody ever walks out disappointed. They somehow always manage to satisfy the solemn old eyes as they fill with wonder, the childlike wide and gaping eyes.
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