Located in the heart of Kolkata, Indian Museum Kolkata is one of the oldest and largest multi-purpose museums in the Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific. Established in 1814, the museum has a rich collection of artefacts and exhibits that reflect the rich cultural and historical heritage of India. In this blog, we will take you through a comprehensive guide to Indian Museum Kolkata, from its history to its collections, architecture, and nearby attractions.
History of Indian Museum Kolkata
Founded by the Asiatic Society of Bengal, the establishment of the museum kicked off a Museum movement in India that culminated into installation of 400 separate museums in the country.
The aim of the Indian Museum is to preserve and showcase the cultural and historical heritage of India. The museum initially started as a small collection of Indian natural history specimens and artifacts. However, over the years, it grew to become one of the most important museums in the country, with a diverse collection of exhibits from different periods of Indian history.
Hosting an extensive collection, Indian Museum’s artefacts and exhibits span a wide range of topics such as art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, and natural history. The museum has over 100,000 objects in its collection, including sculptures, paintings, manuscripts, coins, fossils, and more. Some of the most popular exhibits at Indian Museum Kolkata include the Egyptian mummy, the Ashoka pillar, and the Buddha relics.
Important Details About Indian Museum Kolkata
|City||Kolkata, West Bengal, India|
|Visit Timings||Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Closed on all Mondays and Public Holidays)|
|Ticket Fare||INR 20 (For Visitors Below 18), INR 50 (Adult Indian Nationals), INR 500 (Foreign Nationals)|
|Collection Number||Over 100,000 objects|
|Collection Type||Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Natural History|
|Address||27, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Park Street Area, Kolkata – 700016|
|Bus Routes||Buses to Esplanade or Maidan Bus Stop|
|Camera||Photography with Smart Phone Camera – ₹ 50/-Photography with DSLR Camera – ₹ 100/-Small Video Camera – ₹ 2000/-|
Camera with Stand – ₹ 5000/-(Additional 18% GST Shall be levied)
|Guide||Free Guide Service is available at the Museum.|
|Accessibility||For Differently-abled Visitors:Wheelchairs, lifts, ramps, specialized restrooms are available. For Visually Impaired Visitors:A description of the Bharhut Gallery is available in Braille. 3D models of several paintings in the Painting Gallery have been installed along with their descriptions in Braille.|
|Library Timings||10:00 am to 5:00 pm; closed on second Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.|
|Library Membership||Fee ₹ 50 per person|
Complete List of Galleries at Indian Museum Kolkata
- Bharhut Gallery: Houses the red stone remnants of Bharhut Stupa, excavated in 1873.
- Birds & Fish Gallery: Showcases a variety of birds and how they interact with their habitat.
- Industrial Botany Gallery: Exhibition of colonial accumulation and organization of ‘economic botany’ encased in Victorian-era glass vitrines.
- Bronze Gallery: Metal image repository ranging from 8th-14th century CE.
- Coin Gallery: Presents a collection of more 50,000 coins from different regions of South Asia.
- Insect gallery: Home to a wide variety of insects and invertebrates, the gallery is a treasure trove of knowledge.
- L. Archaeology Gallery: The exhibit celebrates the evolution of sculptural art in South Asia.
- Mammal Gallery: Display of bones and fossils of various animals found across South Asia.
- Mask Gallery: Collection of varied decorative masks made using different materials and techniques.
- Painting Gallery: This gallery showcases a collection of Indian Miniatures and the Bengal School of Paintings.
- Textile Gallery: Contains textiles mainly from the 19th century but also includes textiles from all across India and the subcontinent and various eras.
- Minor Art Gallery: Exhibit of terracotta artefacts from the Maurya era to the Pala period.
- Human Evolution Gallery: Showcases human evolution of both the physical and cultural kind.
- Rocks & Minerals Gallery: Includes igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks from all around the globe.
- Invertebrate Fossil Gallery: Arranged according to the Geological time scale, the exhibit contains a large collection of invertebrate fossil specimens mostly of extinct groups.
- Pre and Proto History Gallery
- Cultural Anthropology Gallery
Indian Museum Kolkata is an important cultural institution in India and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art, history, and culture. Its extensive collection of exhibits and artefacts, combined with its beautiful architecture, make it a unique destination that should not be missed.
Check out our list of Top 7 Must-Visit Government Museums of India.
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