The diversity that inhabits every crevice of India reflects beautifully in the history that surrounds the country. The rich culture, the regal heritage, the delectable food and the people all symbolise the eclectic nature of India woven together in how we live our lives. To embody the vibrance of Indian culture and its history, museums create a world worthy of exploring.
Museums serve to nourish the minds and souls of people who want to experience the bygone era and gain more knowledge of it. They capture the essence of history in a manner that gives the illusion of a moment caught in time. An assorted number of museums can be found all over India that are dedicated to exhibiting archaeological and antique marvels. Keeping that in mind, here is a detailed list of some must-visit museums in India that showcases a broad range of artefacts and historical elements, transporting you to the bygone era of the inherited traditions, monuments and culture.
National Museum, Delhi
Situated in Janpath, this museum was established in 1949. It is one of the largest museums in the country dedicated to dispensing information about different periods in our history. It houses a wide variety of artefacts that range from the prehistoric era to more contemporary works of art. While more than 200,000 articles belong to the history of India, some foreign pieces can be found as well. Articles like jewellery, paintings, armours and manuscripts can be found at the National Museum – making it one of the most sought-after locations to garner knowledge. You can also find some of the popular hotels in Delhi around this museum for a comfortable stay.
Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
Salar Jung Museum lies on the southern bank of the Musi river in Hyderabad. Categorised as an art museum, it is home to several archaeological wonders. One can find a massive collection of paintings, clocks, carvings and textiles from countries like Nepal, Europe, North America and China. The main attraction of the museum, however, is the exquisite marble sculptures that are a testament to the delicate work of their artists. This museum is said to house the largest antique collection with articles dating back to the first century. Established in 1951, this museum has rapidly become a heaven for art and history lovers alike.
Napier Museum, Trivandrum
Located in Thiruvananthapuram, the Napier Museum is an art and natural museum that also grounds one of the oldest zoological gardens in India, the Trivandrum Zoo. Developed in 1857, it spans across 55 acres and is home to several exotic and local animals and possesses heavenly Botanical Gardens. The architectural style of the museum building features a beautiful gothic roof and towering minarets. The museum consists of rare collections of historic artefacts, including the Indian epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya
Also known as the National Museum dedicated to Humankind, this little local gem can be found in the scenic city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. IGRMS is an anthropological museum that showcases the story related to the evolution of humankind, seamlessly integrated with the culture of India. It recounts the story of mankind as it relates to space and time. The exhibitions range from the lifestyle of the early man to that of tribal people or ‘Adivasis’ and their way of living. Various exhibits that depict tribal habitat, village lifestyle and mythology attached to them can be found here. Some brilliant archaeological masterpieces can be found in this museum that nourish the curious souls of budding and professional anthropologists.
Indian Museum, Kolkata
Referred to as the Imperial Museum of Kolkata in colonial-era texts, the Indian Museum is considered to be the ninth oldest museum in the world. An abundance of historic and archaeological masterpieces can be found here with their collection consisting of rare antiques, skeletons, mummies, Mughal paintings, armours, ornaments and jewellery. This museum is a core of history that has been brought to life. The cultural and historical significance of the artefacts found here is presented intricately with an air of story-telling that can transport anyone to particular eras.
Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur
This museum, situated outside the city walls is an excellent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture (an amalgamation of Mughal regality and Gothic intricacies). Named after King Edward VII (Albert Edward), this public museum was inaugurated in 1887. The rare and inimitable collection this museum houses consists of coins from the Mughal, British, Delhi Sultanate periods as well as artefacts such as ivory sculptures, paintings, textiles, and crystal works. However, the primary artefact that draws tourists to this museum from all around the world is the Egyptian Mummy exhibit.
For all the history buffs and intrigued individuals who love to amass information and explore the days of yore, a visit to the museum is food for their souls. If you aim to travel across cities to visit museums like me, you can book guided tours to embrace the wanderer in you and visit these places alone. After all, a walk through the past is often an intimate journey.