Museums to Visit in India
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Enter Museums of India
It is no doubt that India is a country of wonders. In this very diverse country, it harbours the soul and body of history which does not solely belong to India but has rolled down the path from several known and unknown lands and finally found its home in the museums of India.
It is highly unlikely for a person to dislike a place such as a museum, not because you get to see wonderful artefacts that were left behind in the dust of time, but also you come to terms with the history of your own identity. You also gain information on your past and what you are made up of and where your people belong from, where the origin of various said and unsaid histories came forward to navigate through the lost track of time.
India has museums galore to feed the inquisitive wanderer in you. In these museums, you witness history as it has never been told before in the history books and encyclopaedias you so curiously read in your early years. Let us take a dive into the womb of time and get familiar with your and our history. For travelers who have come from countries afar to visit India, brace yourselves for a fascinating tour of knowing and understanding Indian history through the charismatic museums across the country. Happy journeying to the lost times!
We are presenting to you not just a collection of the most famous museums in India, but a well-considered line-up of the best museums scattered all across the country of India, starting from the City of Joy – Kolkata.
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Indian Museum, Kolkata
The museum was founded in the year 1814 at the home of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (located at the present building of the Asiatic Society, Park Street, Kolkata). Indian Museum is recognised to be one of the earliest and the most multipurpose museums located not only in the Indian subcontinent but also in the Asia Pacific region encompassing the world. Since its foundation in the year 1814, the museum has gained pace over the years and has been kicking through the years of India's history gaining new momentum with what it has to offer. It has only prospered and evolved since time immemorial and is one of the famous museums out of the 400 museums the country has to serve.
The socio-cultural movement that began with the museum's existence was almost an epoch that hinted at the great scientific achievements of the country as a whole.
The museum is also seen as the juncture where the mediaeval era breathed its last and the modern era paved in. You would not be surprised to know that the Indian museum is by large the largest and the oldest museum the country harbours and is known for the various antiques, fossils, skeletons, Mughal paintings, mummies and armour suits it harbours from history. It reflects greatly on India's cultural and colonial history.
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Sulabh International Museum of Toilet, Delhi
The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets was established in the year 1992 and it contains exhibits collected from 50 different countries. Is not that a tremendous effort to overtake? The purpose of this museum is to create awareness about sanitation and cleanliness. The sanitation artefacts kept in this museum span from 3000 BC extending to the artefacts collected in the 20th Century. The arrangement is made in chronological order from "Ancient, Medieval and Modern."
The museum's exhibits focus on issues that talk about the development of toilet-related technology of the entire civilization of human history. With time, they have chosen to highlight the social practices and habits of people, their manners reflected towards the existing sanitary situation, and the required legal framework thereof.
The artefacts on display are chamber pots, toilet seats from the Victorian era, privies, bidets, types of furniture kept in toilets, water closets and more such related items, collected and preserved from 1145 AD to the present date. The plaques and display boards have poems written on them related to the toilet and its function. About time poetry found its way in toilets!
Some of the other fascinating and amusing facts and information the museum has on display are a replica of a commode shaped in the form of a treasure chest belonging to the British medieval period. Another replica of the assumed toilet seat of King Louis is known to have been in use while the famous king defecated while still holding a court. That is some adventure there.
Another spectacular display is a pot that has been twisted and made in the shape of a bookcase and many such peculiar items to rest your eyes upon. There are also pots made of gold and silver that were used by Queen Victoria and pots that were in use during the Mughal period. If you are curious to know about the defecat-ive history of India, you should absolutely visit this toilet, uh, the museum we mean.
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International Doll Museum, Delhi
The International Dolls Museum is known to harbour a plethora of dolls in the city of Delhi, India. The place was set up by the man K Shankar Pillai who happens to be a political cartoonist. The Museum is built inside the children's Book Trust Building which is situated on Bahadur Shah Zafar marg and can be accessed only through a separate entrance, a spiral staircase that leads up to a foyer. The area occupied by the museum floor is approximately 5,184.5 sq ft (481.66 m2) and also occupies a certain portion on the first floor of the building. If you visit this particular piece of art make sure you go on both floors. The Dolls Museum in New Delhi houses a variety of dolls collected from across the globe.
The political cartoonist Shankar Pillai established this Museum in the year 1965 with only about 1000 dolls on display. Dr S Radhakrishnan the former President of India inaugurated this Doll's Museum and during the time of the inauguration, the museum only harboured about 500 dolls. During the years 1965 and 1987, the number of dolls in display rose to 5000 and this happened due to the huge influx of dolls coming in as gifts. You might be surprised to know that today the number of dolls has gone up to 6500 displays which have been collected from 85 different countries, giving it an international edge and making it a famous tourist spot for visitors.
Naval Aviation Museum in Vasco Da Gama, Goa
The Naval Aviation Museum in Goa was inaugurated in the year 1998. Interestingly, the museum is one of the only two military museums to exist in the country. The Naval Aviation Museum is the only aviation museum in the whole of Asia. Quite a number of aircraft that were used during the course of Indian history are at display in the museum. You will happen to find many outdated and old models of aircraft on display in this museum.
Some of the displays are kept outside the museum in open-air galleries assuming the size of the aircraft did not fit inside the four-walled museum. What might further interest you is the fact that the interiors of this Naval Aviation Museum are crafted in a way that it looks like the interior of a Naval aircraft carrier the INS Viraat and it displays a wide number of peculiar deliveries portraying naval history, types of equipment that were used during wars, some prominent battles and an extravagant granite plaque which pays tribute to all the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
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Government Museum, Chennai
The Government Museum in Chennai is a museum that talks about the human history and our cultural distinctions. The Museum is located in the Government Museum Complex in Chennai, in the neighbouring area of Edmore. The Museum is known to be established in the year 1851 and is also known to be the second oldest museum in the history of India, following the Indian Museum located in Kolkata, West Bengal. Among the museums of the world, it is the 10th oldest museum. It has a grand display of rich numismatic collections and archaeological put ups for the visitors. It is also known to harbour some of the famous Roman antiquities after the museums of Europe.
If you happen to visit this museum, do not forget to pay a visit to the National Art Gallery which is also present in the same campus as the museum.
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Rail Museum, Delhi
The Rail Museum of Delhi circumscribes a very thrilling and fascinating collection of about a hundred real-sized displays of the Indian Railways. The models at display are partially static and partially working.
The museum also displays types of equipment that were used to signal in old days, types of furniture that were kept in chair cars and cabins, photographs of British officers sitting in the cable cars and other related informative items which talks about the Indian railway history. The coaches in the display show the handsome Prince of Wales Salon which was built in the year 1875. This salon is then outsmarted by the Maharaja of Mysore's salon which was built in the year 1899. What outdoes The Prince of Wales Salon is the Rosewood bed and the brocade-covered chairs that were elegantly placed in the Maharaja's cable.
Visitors are not allowed to enter the cabin of the train but they can always peek and have a look at the extravagant display of the cabins.
Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur
The Albert Hall Museum located in the city of Jaipur is known as the oldest museum of the state and is also represented as the state museum of Rajasthan. The structure is a very fine example of Indo-Saracenic work and is situated in Ram Niwas Garden which stands outside the city wall. The Museum is sometimes also called the Government Central Museum. The design of the building was penned down by Samuel Swinton Jacob with the help of Mir Tujumool Hoosein. The Museum got opened to the public in the year 1887. The Museum was initially destined to be a town hall as decided by Maharaja Ram Singh, but later his successor Madhu Singh II thought it would be more suitable for the building to be represented as a museum for the art of Jaipur.
The nomenclature of the building however was done after king Edward VII. It was during his visit to the city of Jaipur after becoming The Prince of Wales that the foundation stone was put on 6th February 1876. The Museum exhibits an extravagant collection of paintings, sculptures, various kinds of stones, ivory, jewellery dating back to the time of Mughals, embroidered carpets and various works in crystals. The numismatic collection includes coins from the age of Kushan, Gupta, Mughals, Delhi sultanate and the British colonial periods.
However, the most known attraction of the museum is an Egyptian mummy.
Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum, Delhi
If you did not know already, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum was earlier the residing place of the former prime minister of India Indira Gandhi. After her assassination, the place was converted into a museum. If you visit the place, you can see various collections of unseen photographs of the late prime minister, of the Nationalist Movement, of moments celebrated amongst the Nehru-Gandhi family and other relevant pictures.
You might also get to see photographs, newspapers and other details which highlight the assassination of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Along with this, you might also come across their day-to-day personal objects such as pens, journals, clothes, etc. You will also find a small library where you can see the precious books that Indira Gandhi was given and was bought by her, well preserved in the museum.
Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
The Salar Jung Museum is located at Dar-ul-Shifa, Hyderabad, Telangana. The museum is all about art and it portrays the life and death of Salar Jung III. The museum is also one of the three national museums of the country and was initially only a private art collection belonging to the Salar Jung family. Later, it was handed over to the government after the passing away of Salar Jung. The museum came to life on 16th December 1951 and was opened to the public.
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