Top 15 Museums in India

A country is defined by the historical events that took place in it. The struggles, the suffering, the richness and the pain are what defines the present structure of the city. And what better place to know about the rich heritage, than to visit a museum? From the old to the new- whatever you need to know, they have it! So keeping that in mind, have a look at these top 15 museums in India, to increase your knowledge of both the past and the present:

1. INDIAN MUSEUM, KOLKATA

This museum comprises of different galleries for your fascination. Indian Museum is one of the oldest and the largest museums in India. Also, it was founded by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1814. It contains a rare collection of various items like antiques, ornaments, armor, mummies and much more. For example, Gandhara Gallery, Bengal painting gallery, Egyptian gallery, Bird gallery, Mineral gallery etc. and much more. As of March 31, 2004, its collection is estimated to be at 102,646.

Location: 27, Jawaharlal Nehru Rd
Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM (Monday Closed)
Price: Rs 5

2. CALICO MUSEUM OF TEXTILES, AHMEDABAD

Calico Museum of Textiles was founded in 1949 and is managed by the Sarabhai Foundation. The founders originally started the museum at the Calico Mills, but later shifted it  to Sarabhai House in Shahibaug. Additionally, this museum showcases antique and modern clothing and different textiles from all over India. The textiles there include the court textiles used by the Mughals and provincial rulers in the 15th and 19th century, various regional textiles, embroideries etc. The galleries also have an exhibition of various arts and sculptures. You must visit this museum!

3. VECHAAR UTENSILS MUSEUM, AHMEDABAD

Vechaar Utensils Museum was built by architect Mr. Surender C. Patel in the year 1981 and is located on the premises of Vishalla Village Restaurant.  This museum contains almost every utensil used from ancient to modern time with different designs and utility. He built the museum to preserve our rich heritage and culture and remember the hard work done by our craftsmen. It basically contains an extensive study of utensils from thousands of years ago to present times. They have vessels range from leaf or gourd jug to modern glass and stainless steel utensils.

Location:  Opposite A P M C Market, Vasna, Vishala.
Timings:  1:00 – 3:00 PM & 5:00 – 10:30 PM
Prices: Rs 10.

4. GOVERNMENT MUSEUM, CHENNAI

Government Museum is a museum of human history and culture. It is located in the Egmore region of Chennai. Furthermore, this is the oldest museum in India, after Indian Museum in Kolkata. This museum contains 6 buildings housing around 46 galleries such as wood carvings, bronze items, Ravi Verma paintings and much more. In addition, it also has the largest collection of Roman antiques, outside Europe. You will be amazed at the collection!

Location:  Beside Government Maternity Hospital, Pantheon Road, Egmore.
Timings: 9.30 AM – 4.30 PM

5. HAL AEROSPACE MUSEUM, BENGALURU

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Heritage Center and Museum is the first of its kind in India and 2001 is the year in which it was established. The Heritage Center and Museum is located on 4 acres of beautiful green land. There are two parts of the museum. The first hall displays an array of different photographs on aviation- then and now.The second hall is the motorized section which displays cross sections of models of aero-engines beside real engines. This museum will definitely help you to understand more about aviation! Apart from this, you can also find various real engines over here to look at.

Location: Near HAL Police Station, HAL Old Airport Road, Marathahalli, Bengaluru.
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM.

6. NATIONAL MUSEUM, DELHI

In 1949, the National Museum was inaugurated. It has various forms of art and other things ranging from the pre-historic era to newer, more modern forms of art.  Various archeological exhibits such as Harappan civilization, miniature paintings, Buddhist art and much more can make you fall in love with history all over again. The museum also exhibits a wide collection of arms and armor.

Location: Janpath, New Delhi.
Timings: 10 AM- 5 PM.
Tickets: Rs 20.

7. NATIONAL RAIL MUSEUM, DELHI

1977 is the year in which the National Rail Museum was inaugurated. It is spread over 10 acres of land. Furthermore, the museum offers a wide range of models of engines and coach related equipment. It has both indoor and outdoor exhibits. This museum will show you the comprehensive history of Indian Railways. But, the steam engine Fairy Queen is the star attraction here. Other than that, you will also find the 1:8 Scale Train, Diesel Simulator, Steam and Coach Simulator etc.

Location: Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri, Near Bhutan Embassy, New Delhi.
Timings: 10 AM – 4.30 PM.

8. SHANKAR’S INTERNATIONAL DOLL MUSEUM, DELHI

In 1965, Shankar’s Internation Doll Museum was inaugurated for the general public. K. Shankar Pillai, a political cartoonist, set up this museum. All in all, this museum houses over 6000 dolls from all around the world including India. The museum has two equal halves.  You can see exhibits from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East etc.

Location: 4, Nehru House, Bahadur Shah Zafar Road, New Delhi.
Timings: 10 AM – 5.30 PM.

9. SALAR JUNG MUSEUM, HYDERABAD

Salar Jung Museum is an art museum. The museum houses a collection of 1.1 million objects. Overall, this museum contains antique collection from three generations of Salar Jung’s. A few of its displays have received global fame, for example, the rare Lilavati manuscript, a fabulous collection of European clocks and much more. Other items which you can see here are manuscripts, textiles, ceramics, carvings, paintings, to name a few. Furthermore, it is famed to be one of the largest museums in the world.

Location: Salar Jung Road, Near Minar Function Hall, Hyderabad.
Timings: 10 AM – 4.30 PM.

10. REGIONAL RAIL MUSEUM, KOLKATA

Howrah Railway Station is the home of the Regional Rail Museum. In 2006, it opened its doors for public visitation. This museum holds various artifacts and models of different types of engines, equipment, crockeries and train timetable from the past. It also exhibits the steam engine from Pakistan Railways.

Location: Foreshore RoadHowrah.
Timings: 
10.30 AM – 5.30 PM.

11. VICTORIA MEMORIAL, KOLKATA

Victoria Memorial is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Kolkata. The inside of the museum will leave you mesmerized. It has 25 galleries.  It houses paintings by Indian and Western artists and also several manuscripts from the British era. This museum also runs a light and sound show. Also, you will find various old and antique books in the museum including works by William Shakespeare, Omar Khayyam, as well as books by Wazid Ali Shah. You must visit this one!

Location: Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Kolkata.
Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM.

12. Dr. BHAU DAJI LAD MUSEUM, MUMBAI

Victoria and Albert Museum was the previous name of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. It is the oldest museum in Mumbai, established in 1855. Previously, connoisseurs kept decorative and industrial arts here. Importantly, this building sets an architectural example with the Victorian designed interior. The museum houses a large number of maps, archeological finds, clay models, historical photographs, and much more. Significantly, you can also find a 17th century manuscript of Hatim Tai here.

Location: Byculla East, Mumbai.
Timings: 10 AM – 6 PM.

13. NAPIER MUSEUM, TRIVANDRUM

The museum saw the day of light in 1855. The Indo-Saracenic structure of this museum is one of the many causes of an increase in the number of tourists. This museum contains various archeological artifacts, bronze idols, old ornaments, ivory carvings, a temple chariot and much more. Furthermore, you must visit this museum for its unique ornamentation and architecture- the Gothic roofs and minarets are spell-binding.

Location: LMS Vellayambalam Road, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram.
Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM.

14. CELLULAR JAIL MUSEUM, ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR

The struggle of the prisoners during the British period when this jail was under the jailer called, David Barry is shown in the Cellular Jail. The Britishers sent a lot of freedom fighters to jail here. Jailers punished the inamtes with a punishment known as “Kala Pani”. This jail is now converted into a museum and shows us various techniques of torture performed on prisoners at that time. You must visit this place! This museum also hosts light and sound show which poses as one of the major attractions.Furthermore, the ambiance and all the stories will send shivers down your spine.

Location: Atlanta Point, Port Blair.
Timing: 9 AM – 1 PM; 2 PM – 5 PM.

15. ANTHROPOLOGICAL MUSEUM, ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR

In 1975-76, the Anthropological Museum started functioning. It is an ethnographic museum. This museum offers us an insight into the Andaman culture. We get an insight into the lives of tribes living in different islands in Andaman and Nicobar. It unravels the truth of what weapons these people used, how they lived, what they ate etc. Some of the tribes showcased here are the Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges and others.

Location: Phoenix Bay, Port Blair.
Timings: 9 AM – 1 PM; 1.30 PM – 4.30 PM.

Contributor: Archi Sengupta

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