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India has one of the richest treasures as far as precious artifacts and antiques are concerned. In order to preserve these priceless possessions, there are several museums that exist throughout the country. The Museums in India are considered as preservers of national heritage. The museums in India have an enviable collection of priceless artifacts, curios and antique and play a vital role in the task of preserving the national legacy.

However, the museums also display some of the modern creations and wonders in the country. Hence, a visit to India would certainly be incomplete without a trip to any one museum. A tourist can witness a perfect blend of contemporary and historical evidences related to every aspect and feature of India. There are several museums in India, which have attained immense acclaim and admiration.

Though there are numerous museums in India, the leading museums of the country are:

Museums in Ahmedabad

Calico Museum of Textiles: Established in 1948, the Calico Museum of Textiles is undoubtedly one of India’s leading museums for textiles. Its superb collection of textiles is further enhanced by a fine collection of pichhwais and patachitras (painting on cloth).

Utensils Museum: The museum is devoted to Indian utensils. Collected from all over India, the endeavour is to demonstrate the purity of form and shape in these objects of utility. Each object is beautifully conceived and created to prove that beauty also lay in the simple objects of everyday use.

Museums in Aizawl

Mizoram State Museum: On view are historic relics, ancient costumes and headgears as well as contemporary textiles, especially the brightly coloured shawls woven with symbolic motifs.

Museums in Bangalore

Karnataka Government Museum and Venkatappa Art Gallery: Established in 1865, the museum houses sculptures from the Hoysala, Gandhara, etc periods. Also on view are antiquities from Mohenjodaro and terracotta from Mathura. The painting section includes miniature paintings from the Rajasthani and Pahari schools.

Museums in Bhopal

Central Museum: Established in 1949, this museum has collection of paintings, coins, porcelain objects, metal and ivory toys and artefacts, woodcarvings and a number of miscellaneous items like needle-work and local handicrafts.

State Museum: As a museum devoted to archaeology, the State Museum exhibits antiquities like coins, sculptures, terracotta excavated from all the significant sites of the region.

Bharat Bhavan: Built and designed by the well known architect Charles Correa, the complex is set in a number of low buildings set around the banks of the lake. Here in one compound are the Rang Mandal, the theater repertory; Anhad, the hall for classical music; Vagarth, the poetry library; Bahirrang, the open air auditorium; and Roopankar, the museum of art.

Museums in Bhubaneshwar

Orissa State Museum: The galleries cover archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, armoury, mining and geology, paintings, anthropology and manuscripts.

Archaeological Museum:
Ninety km south of Patna lies Nalanda, the historic Buddhist university. It is believed that the Buddha preached here and the Mauryan emperor Ashoka built the famous monastery. The excavated ruins are spectacular, with chapels, monasteries and lecture halls symmetrically spread over a large area.

Museums in Chennai

Government State Museum: This museum is famous for two important collections – sculptures from Amaravati and its famed Bronze Gallery. The Amaravati collection has panels, pillars, carved railings and Buddha statues of milky white marble from a Buddhist stupa excavated at Amaravati, Andra Pradesh.

Fort St. George Museum: The museum displays collection of portraits and paintings of former governors of Chennai as well as of English royalty.

H H Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum: Situated in the Jai Vilas Palace, the Scindia Museum has a variety of objects ranging from sculptures, bronzes, weapons, miniature paintings, manuscripts and coins.

Museums in Delhi

National Museum: it is one of India’s most prestigious institution. The Indus valley gallery displays many antiquities excavated from Mohenjodaro and Harappa, like terracotta toys, images, and pots, jewellery, bronze and copper implements and sculputures. The most outstanding object here is the lyrical bronze Dancing Girl.

National Museum of Natural History: A prehistoric animal greets the visitor to the National Museum of Natural History preparing him for the collection of botanical, zoological and geological objects on view within.

Archaeological Museum: Situated in the historic Red Fort, the museum exhibits object of the Mughal period such as manuscripts and firmans, that demonstrate the fine art of calligraphy, painting, textiles and costumes.

National Rail Museum: The museum depicts 130 years of evolution and development of the Indian Railways.

Archaeological Museum: Ninety km south of Patna lies Nalanda, the historic Buddhist university. It is believed that the Buddha preached here and the Mauryan emperor Ashoka built the famous monastery. The excavated ruins are spectacular, with chapels, monasteries and lecture halls symmetrically spread over a large area.

Craft Museum: The Craft museum complex is a charming oasis of mud huts with painted walls and thatched roofs, courtyards, terracotta houses recreating village life.

Shankar’s International Dolls Museum: The International Dolls Museum is a museum devoted to a display of dolls from all over India and abroad.

Museums in Gaya

Gaya Museum: Gaya, 206 km from Patna, is an ancient Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site. On view are ancient sculptures, bronzes and terracotta. There is a section on numismatics, the decorative arts, paintings, manuscripts, arms and armoury, geology and natural history.

Museums in Guwahati

Assam State Museum: Assam State Museum in Guwahati is a rich repository of antiquities that highlight the diversity of the state’s cultural traditions. On view are a large number of stone sculptures, metal, wood and terracotta objects, textiles, coins, manuscripts and tribal artefacts.

Museums in Gwalior

H H Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum: Situated in the Jai Vilas Palace, the Scindia Museum has a variety of objects ranging from sculptures, bronzes, weapons, miniature paintings, manuscripts and coins.

Museums in Hyderabad

Salar Jung Museum: The Salar Jung Museum houses the private collections of Salar Jung, the Nizams of Hyderabad’s prime minister. The museum has fine collections of jade, metalware, textiles and weapons which provide a glimpse into the post Mughal court life and are suggestive of the grandeur and wealth of rulers in days gone by.

State Museum: The State museum is housed in a building converted from one of the Nizam’s mansions. On the ground floor are bronzes, weaponry and Stone Age implements. The interestinmuseums in kerala, museums in trivandrum, holidays in kerala, museums in hyderabad, museums in pondicherryg objects are a life-size lizard, a mother and child dating to the 2nd century BC, three enormous temple bells etc.

Museums in Jaipur

Central Museum (Albert Hall): Situated in the midest of Ramnivas gardens, it is an imposing stone structure executed in the Indo-Persian style of architecture. The museum has a wide collection of miniatures from the Bundi, Kota, Kishangarh, Udaipur and Jaipur school of painting and ceremonial robes worn by kings and queens

Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum: Situated in the Chandra Mahal Palace, the museum displays the ancestral collections of former maharajas from paintings, manuscripts, maps, carpets, textiles, costumes, weapons to decorative art objects depicting courtly life in Jaipur state between the 16th and 19th century.

Museums in Khajuraho

Archaeological Museum: Archaeological Museum was earlier called the Jardine Museum. Most of the 2000 objects are masterpieces of Indian sculpture. The Nritta Ganesha, a colossal image depicts the elephant- headed god dancing while his attendants keep rhythm; a marvelous Hari-Hara representing the deity whose right half is Shiva and left Vishnu manifests the perfectly conceived unity of the two gods.

Museums in Kohima

State Museum: The State museum at Kohima is purely ethnographic in nature. On view are baskets, colourful woven textiles, some decorated with designs made up of cowrie shells, bone, ivory and bead jewellery, headgears, wooden sculptures and death masks.

Museums in Konark

Archaeological Museum: The site museum was established at konark in 1968. On view are pieces of sculpture retrieved from the Sun Temple. The fragments, some small, some large, follow the architectural and artistic patterns of the temple and depict aspects of the religious, social and economic life of the people of Orissa during the 13th century.

Museums in Lucknow

State Museum: A multipurpose museum with sculptures, bronzes, paintings, natural history and anthropological specimens, coins, textiles and decorative arts. Rare stone sculptures include the earliest image of Balarama and a panchmukhi shivalinga and a statue of Saraswati.

Museums in Madurai

Government Museum: The various section in the museum deal with archaeology, anthropology, zoology, numismatology, botany and geology. The museum has fine collection of bronzes which are not allowed to be photographed.

Museums in Mumbai

Bombay Natural History Society: The exhibits include replicas and specimens of vertebrates and insects, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes, all from the Indian subcontinent.

Prince of Wales Museum of Western India: The Prince of Wales Museum was designed and built to represent the ancient and medieval architectural styles of Western India. The art section at the museum has a collection of Indian Paintings representing its different styles and phases.

Museums in Nalada

Archaeological Museum: About 90 km south of Patna lies Nalanda, the historic Buddhist university. It is believed that the Buddha preached here and the Mauryan emperor Ashoka built the famous monastery. The excavated ruins are spectacular, with chapels, monasteries and lecture halls symmetrically spread over a large area.

Museums in Patna

State Museum: The State Museum, established in 1917, has an excellent collection of stone and terracotta sculptures especially from the Mauryan period.

Museums in Pondicherry

Pondicherry museum: This multipurpose museum houses sculptures from Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagara temples. There are Buddha images from Pondicherry/ Kirmampakkam and bronzes from the Chola, Vijayanagara and Nayaka periods, arms and weapons.

Museums in Sanchi

Archaeological Museum: Like most site museums in India, this one also owes its genesis to an English General accidentally stumbling upon some ancient ruins around 1818. Sculptures found here include statues of the Buddha, several bodhisattvas and early Hindu period statues of Ganesh. There is a lion capital of an Ashoka pillar very similar to the one found at Sarnath.

Museums in Sarnath

Archaeological Museum Sarnath: where the Buddha delivered his first sermon more than 2500 years ago, has a site museum whose prize exhibit is the enormous lion capital (2.31 m). Among the most outstanding is the Gupta period Buddha with hand raised in Abhaya or protection.

Museums in Shimla

Himachal State Museum: The Himachal State Museum displays sculptures, paintings, decorative, arts, jewellery, wood carvings, manuscripts, arms and armoury. Also on view are Stone Age tools and implements, prehistoric pottery and terracotta.

Museums in Shillong

Tribal Research Institute: The displayed exhibits include the colourful textiles, especially the shawls and garments worn by the local people, wooden and bone images, totems and masks, weapons and utilitarian implements, baskets and jewellery.

Museums in Srinagar

Sri Pratap Singh Museum: The summer palace of the Kashmir Maharajas became a museum in 1898. The nucleus of the collection based on objects from the Jammu and Kashmir ‘toshakhanna’ which includes shawls, paintings, arms, silver images, copper and brass utensils and Ladakhi handicrafts.

Museums in Srirangapatna

Tipu Sultan Museum: Tipu Sultan Museum lies within the portals of the Dariya Daulat (splendour of sea). The museum displays sketches of Tipu, his father Haider Ali, his sons, his forts, Srirangapatna from different angles. The murals on the outer walls depict scenes from Tipu’s wars while the interior walls are ornately painted with abstract designs and floral motifs.

Museums in Thanjavur

Thanjavur Art Gallery: The former palace of the Nayaks of Thanjavur, once viceroys of the Vijayanagara rulers and later hereditary rulers, is a wonderful and extravagant piece of architecture, built in 1600. The huge enclosed compound encompasses a complex which includes the Art Gallery, the Saraswati Library and the Sangeetha Sabha or Music Hall.

Museums in Thiruvanthapuram

Government Museum: Founded in 1857, the museum is located within a spacious park and zoological garden. The art collection covers aspects of Kerala’s rich heritage, especially stone, wood and bronze sculptures.

Museums in Varanasi

Bharat Kala Bhavan: Bharat Kala Bhavan lies within the sprawling grounds of Benaras Hindu University. The sulptures collection includes terracotta and clay objects, stone and bronze and cast metal objects.