Ideal Time: 1-2 hours
Open Time: Tuesday to Sunday: March to November: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, December to February: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Cost: Indian visitor: INR 10 per head, Foreign visitor: INR 150 per head
The ninth oldest museum of the world and largest in India, the Indian Museum is located in the old city of Kolkata. The foundation stone of the Indian Museum was laid down in the year 1814 and has been a centre of multidisciplinary activities ever since. Popularly known as 'Jadughar', it exhibits some of the finest collection of historical importance ranging from contemporary paintings and a sacred relic of Buddha to Egyptian mummies and ancient sculptures. In addition to these, the Indian Museum boasts of some of the most exquisite collections of ornaments, fossils, skeletons, antiques, armours, and stunning Mughal paintings.
The Asiatic Society of Bengal was established in the year 1784 by Sir William Jones. The Indian Museum was established in the Asiatic Society Building in the year 1814 by Dr Nathaniel Wallich, a famous botanist from Denmark. In the year 1840, the Government expanded the geology and minerals section and an additional grant of INR 250 per month was provided for the geology section alone.
It was in the year 1875 that the museum was shifted to the present building. However, the museum was open to the public in the year 1878 housing over sixty galleries. The year 1879 saw the Indian Museum receiving a collection from the Indian Museum (South Kensington). One of the biggest contributions of the Museum was perhaps when the Zoological and Anthropological sections of the museum gave rise to the Zoological Survey of India in 1916, which in turn gave rise to the Anthropological Survey of India in 1945.
The structure of Indian Museum is an architectural grandeur designed by the famous architect Walter B Grawille in Italian Style. The building comprises of three floors, each spanning across an area of about 930 sq meters. There are total sixty galleries divided into six main sections namely: Anthropology, Art, Archaeology, Zoology, Botany and Geology.
Archaeology Section: Archaeology section includes Pre and Proto-Historic Gallery, Main Entrance Gallery, Bharhut Gallery, Gandhara Gallery, Long Archaeology Gallery, Bronze Gallery, Coin Gallery, Minor Art Gallery and Egyptian Gallery.
Art Section: This includes Mughal Painting Gallery, Bengal Painting Gallery, Decorative Art and Textile Gallery South East Asian Gallery.
Anthropology Section: Palaeo-Anthropology Gallery, Cultural Anthropology Gallery, Mask Gallery and Musical Instrument Gallery are included under Anthropology Section.
Zoology Section: Zoology Section includes Fish Gallery, Amphibia and Reptilia Gallery, Bird Gallery, Mammal Gallery and Ecology Gallery.
Geology Section: Siwalik Gallery, Invertebrate Fossil Gallery, Rock & Mineral Galler Earth and Meteorite Gallery with Gem Section are included under Geology Section.
Botany Section: The Botany Section of the Indian Museum has exhaustible resources on Indian timbers, Food products, Medicinal produces, Vegetable fibres, Oil and oilseeds and various crops commonly grown in India.
The collection of exhibits that is housed in the Indian Museum is one of a kind. Some of the main collectables on display here include an Egyptian mummy all of which's organs have been extracted except its heart, a Buddhist stupa from Bharhut, Gautam Buddha's ashes, the Ashoka Pillar which bears the four - lion symbol that went on to become emblem of India, fossilized skeletons of prehistoric animals, an elaborate art collection, precious artefacts, and a fascinating collection of meteorites.
If you wish to visit the Indian Musem, the logistics for the same are as shown below:-
All days of the week except Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (March to November)
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM (December to February)
Closed on Republic Day ( 26th January), Holi, Independence Day (15th August), Mahatma Gandhiji’s Birthday (2nd October), Dusshera, Diwali and Id-ul-Fitr.
Adult (Indian): INR 20
Adult (Foreigner): INR 500
Baby in arms: Free
The best way to reach the museum is through metro train or taxi. Park Street is the nearest metro station from where one can take a bus or a taxi.
3 months ago by Sinorita Naskar
I visited Indian Museum last winter with friends. We reached at around 12pm and also had to leave early, so we could not explore all of the galleries to my disappointment. So I would advise everyone to keep a full day if they are planning to visit this place. Some of the galleries were closed for renovation. The gallery housing the Egyptian mummy was my favourite among all the galleries that we visited. Apart from exploring the galleries, one can also sit in the lawn admiring the beautiful white building, or opt for a meal at the nearby restaurants in Park Street.
3 months ago by Soumita Ghosh
The museum displays collections of coins and sculptures out of many others. There is also an Egyptian Mummy put on display. The place needs to be maintained properly since the ways in which the collections are displayed are not up to the mark. Also, the collections lack information. The museum would be a lot better if it were maintained in an orderly manner with correct information displayed beside every artifact. The place is quite good for history enthusiasts. India’s rich history is displayed in all its glory here. Since this museum is present in Kolkata proper, there is no dearth of places to stay. Street food is also widely available.
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