Established in 1949, The National Museum in New Delhi is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Indian history, art, and culture. Located in the heart of the city, the museum houses an impressive collection of ancient artefacts and historical objects, spanning thousands of years of India’s rich heritage.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking to explore India’s diverse culture, the National Museum offers an unforgettable experience. The museum is divided into several sections, each focusing on a different aspect of India’s history and culture. The galleries are organised thematically and chronologically, starting from prehistoric times and moving all the way up to modern India.
Things You Need to Know Before Planning Your Visit to the National Museum
|Visit Timings||10:00 AM to 6:00 PM|
Closed on Mondays and National Holidays
|Ticket Fare||20 Rs for Adults. 650 Rs for Foreign Nationals includes an audio guide. Free entry for students up to class 12th with i-card.|
|Collection Number||Over 2,10,000 pieces.|
|Collection Type||Miniature paintings, manuscripts, sculptures in bronze, stone, terracotta and wood, coins, arms and armour, jewellery, textile, costumes, anthropological objects, Central Asian antiquities, Pre-Columbian and Western art.|
|Address||Janpath, New Delhi – 110011Nearest Metro StationCentral Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan|
|Bus Routes||National Museum Bus Stop505, 521, 522 ,526, 531, 580, 615. HoHo Bus (Delhi Tourism Service)|
Nirman Bhawan Bus Stop047, 156, 181, 346, 408, 410, 430, 435, 440, 443, 456, 459, 470, 481, 490, 530, 580, 970, 973 and 984
|Camera||Still cameras are allowed. Only hand held, no tripod, and no video cameras allowed.|
|Guide||Audio guide (150 Rs). Free volunteer guide programmes.|
|Free Guided Tour Times||Tuesday to Friday – 10:30 am , 2:30 pm|
Saturday and Sunday – 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 3:00 pm
|Accessibility||Wheelchair available on demand. A special tactile gallery available particularly for people with disabilities with 22 tactile replicas of museum objects.|
If you want to take a virtual tour before visiting the museum yourself, you can do it by visiting Google’s art and culture website.
Highlights of the National Museum
Some of the must-see exhibits at the National Museum include the Harappan Gallery, which showcases the artefacts from the Indus Valley Civilization, the Bronze Gallery, which displays ancient bronze sculptures, the Buddhist Art Gallery, which features stunning Buddhist artefacts from various parts of India, and the Decorative Arts Gallery, which showcases exquisite art objects from the Mughal era.
In addition to the permanent exhibits, the National Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, which offer visitors the chance to explore different aspects of India’s rich cultural heritage. These exhibitions are often curated in collaboration with other museums and institutions from around the world, making them a truly global experience.
The substantial collection of the museum is made up of gifts and artefacts gathered by its Arts Purchase Committee. It currently houses some 200,000 pieces of all kinds, both Indian and foreign, and its collections span more than 5,000 years of Indian cultural heritage.
One of the highlights of a visit to the National Museum is the museum tour guide service, which provides visitors with a wealth of information about the exhibits and the history of India. The guides are knowledgeable and passionate, and their insights will help you gain a deeper understanding of India’s rich cultural heritage.
The Director General of Archaeology initially oversaw the National Museum until 1957, when the Government of India’s Ministry of Education proclaimed it an independent institution and gave it its own exclusive administrative responsibility. The Ministry of Culture, Government of India, currently has administrative jurisdiction over the National Museum.
While you are at the National Museum in New Delhi, you can also plan a visit to the National Gallery of Modern Art as it is only 2 km away. Visit our blog to learn more about the museum.
Check out our list of Top 7 Must-Visit Government Museums of India.