Article | Blog | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India


Magnificent museums of India

By : Magnificent museums of India

February 15, 2022

India's museum movement officially began with the commemoration of the ‘The Indian Museum’ in 1814. It was the first-ever encyclopedic museum of India, gradually followed by several other significant museums across the nation to preserve our invaluable heritage.  

Museums in India continue to be the centers for reliving history and exploring the cultural sphere and archaeological treasures.

Time travel to the ancient era and enlighten yourself historically by visiting these famous museums in India.

The National Museum, Delhi

The National Museum in Delhi is one of the prime cultural institutions of India. It houses over 2,00,000 artifacts and collections that span more than 5,000 years of Indian cultural history.

Shri R.C Rajagopalchari, the Governor-General of India, inaugurated the National Museum on August 15, 1949.

National Museum
National Museum, Delhi

The National Museum serves as a cultural and interactive centre for visitors. It has a vast collection of exquisite paintings, sculptures, textiles, drawings, manuscripts, and some astounding archaeological finds like the Harappan 'Dancing Doll' and 'Siva Nataraja.' 

Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

Victoria Memorial is one of the iconic landmarks in Kolkata and is one of the most visited museums of India.

Lord Curzon (Viceroy of British India) envisioned the memorial in the memory of Queen Victoria of England. It was inaugurated in 1921 and is presently a popular tourist attraction. 

The magnificent marble building showcases exemplary Indo-Saracenic architecture (an architectural design used by British architects) accompanied by a lush green garden, the serenity of this place will take you back in time. 

Victoria Memorial
The majestic Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

The galleries of Victoria Memorial are adorned by western paintings of Tilly Kettle, John Zofanny, and William Hodges, and Indian paintings of Nandalal Bose and Abanindranath Tagore. 

Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

Salar Jung Museum
Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

The Salar Jung Museum was founded in 1951 and is situated on the banks of the Musi River, Hyderabad. The museum derives its name from the Salar Jung Family, one of the most celebrated families in Deccan history. 

Salar Jung Museum
The Veiled Rebecca from Rome at Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

The Salar Jung Museum's treasures, which span the 2nd century BCE to the early 20th century CE, provide insights into prehistoric times. The museum has around 46,000 art objects, 8,000 manuscripts, and 60,000 photographs. Salar Jung I acquired the 'Veiled Rebecca' from Rome in 1876, and this serene sculpture is the highlight of this museum.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), earlier known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, was founded in 1914 and opened to the public in 1922. It is one of India's most important art and history museums. The museum has Indo-Saracenic architecture and a well-designed garden.

The building is regarded as a Grade I Heritage Building and was facilitated with the 2010 UNESCO Asia- Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation. 

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai

This museum celebrated its 100th anniversary on 10th January 2022, marking an iconic milestone in the museum's journey toward creating an interactive cultural and historic centre for visitors. 

People can experience art in all its forms in the exhibits at their famous art galleries Krishna Kala Dalan, Lakshmi Kala Dalan, Sculpture Kala Dalan, and Epigraphy Kala Dalan. 

Indian Museum, Kolkata

The Indian Museum in Kolkata is the oldest museum of India. It was established in 1814 under the supervision of the Asiatic Society. Its formulation began the Museum Movement in India, further contributing to cultural heritage development. 

Initially, Indian Museum had two galleries, it has now evolved into a multifunctional institution with several divisions like art, archaeology, zoology, geology, botany, and anthropology.

The galleries of the Indian Museum showcase miniature paintings from Persian, Mughal, Rajasthani, and Pahari communities.

Indian Museum, Kolkata
Indian Museum, Kolkata

Reimagining Museums for India@75

Museums are the symbols of a culturally evolving nation. Indian museums have been preserving antiquities for generations. Apart from those showcased above, there are about 700 more museums in India that present different aspects of the nation’s heritage. For instance, the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum houses handicrafts from States across India, the National Philatelic Museum showcases a wonderful panorama of India’s journey through a collection of postal stamps.

To instil an elevating experience at these centres of cultural significance, the Ministry of Culture organized a global summit on 'Reimagining Museums in India' in February 2022 as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. As we march towards 75 years of Independence, such an endeavor focuses on establishing the groundwork for the future growth of our institutions.