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Indian Museum

Indian Museums
Fact File
» Address - 27, Jawarharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata
» Timing - 10.00-17.00 (March – November)
10.00-16.30 (December – February)
Opens on all days except Mondays and recognized holidays.
» Entry Fee - Indian: Rs. 10.00 (approx.)
Foreigners: Rs. 150.00(approx.)
Free for children below 12 years of age.
Photography is not allowed without prior written permission from the authorities.
» Exhibits - Egyptian Mummy, Buddhist stupa from Bharhut, Buddha's Ashes, Fossil Skeletons of Prehistoric animals, Art Collection, Rare Antiques, Collection of Meteorites etc.

Located in Chowringhee on Jawahar Lal Nehru Road, commonly known as ' Jadughar', the Indian Museum of Kolkata is the ninth oldest regualr museum of the world.

About Indian Museum
The Kolkata Indian Museum established long back in 1814 in the Asiatic Society Building was founded by Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, a botanist from Denmark. It is one of the earliest museums established in the world and considered the largest and best museum in the country. In 1875, it was shifted to the new building in Italian architectural style designed by Walter B Grawille.

Opened to public in 1878, the museum has over 60 galleries and is divided into six main sectors of Art, Anthropology, Archaeology, Geology, Industry and Zoology. The museum with 3 floors is spread out over an area of 930 sq.mts. It is an independent institution funded by the Government of India.

Art Section
Spread on the Ist and II floor, the Art collection of the Indian Museum comprises of miniature paintings, textiles, decorative art objects from Asian countries -- China, Japan, Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Java and Kampuchea. Muslin and Jamdani from Dhaka, Baluchari textile of Murshidabad, Phulkari of Punjab, Chamba rumal, Persian carpets, Kanthas of Bengal, ritual robes, wood carving, metal images, ivory, lacquerware, bronze, ornaments; Persian, Mughal, Rajasthani, Pahari, Deccani miniature paintings, manuscript illustrations of Western and Eastern India, Bengal school paintings, Nepalese and Tibetan temple banners.

The South East Asian gallery in the Art section has three separate galleries for artifacts from China-Japan, Burma and Nepal-Tibet. In the gallery of the China-Japan, there are coloured porcelains, wine cups, ivory and rhinoceros horn carved articles, paintings etc.

The tradition of Burmese gallery displays brass and bronze figures, wood carvings, silverwares and lacquer ware objects depicting 'Jatakas', scenes from the epic 'Ramayana' etc.

In the Nepal-Tibet Bay a few bronze images and woodcarvings extending in date from the 9th-10th century to the 18th-19th century have been displayed. Special mention may be made of the bronze image of Siva belonging to the 9th-10th century and wooden figure of Salabhanjika of the 15th-16th century, both from Nepal and bronze figures of Yamantaka and Aryavalokitesvara, yab-yum figures of Samvara with Sakti and Hevajra with Sakti from Tibet. The ritual objects - phur-bu (magic dagger), incense-burner, butter-lamp and a set of ornaments and bone-apron made of human bones are equally noteworthy.

Anthropological Section
The Anthropological Section displays numerous objects of material cultures of both tribal and non-tribal peoples of India, large dioramas put up through considerable amount of research work You can also watch the gallery of rare musical instruments.

Archaeological Section
The Archaeological Section displays stone-age artifacts from India and abroad, pre-historic antiquities from Mohenjodaro, Harappa, ranging from 2500 B.C to 1500 B.C, Sculptures belonging to all phases of history from the 4/5 century B.C the late mediaeval times; inscriptions on stones and copper, Indo-Muslim architectural pieces and a representative collections of Indian coins.

Some of the galleries in this section are Bharhut, Egyptian, Coins, Orissan Art, Gandhara etc. Bharhut gallery houses the railings and gateway of the Buddhist Stupa with carvings and sculptures depicting scenes from Buddha's life excavated from Bharhut in Madhya Pradesh in 1874 by Sir Alexander Cunningham. There is also an urn containing Buddha's ashes. Due to this the museum has become a place of pilgrimage. Gandhara gallery holds the best collection of Buddhist Sculptures from Gandhara region and other stone sculptures. The Egyptian gallery has a 4000 year old 'mummy', sculptures, paintings etc. The coin gallery has a collection of coins from the 5th century B.C. which displays gold coins issued by Kanishka, Samudragupta, Kumaragupta-1, Akbar and Jahangir.

Geological Section
The extensive Geological Section has over 80,000 specimens, displayed in four galleries showing varieties of meteorites, precious stones, ornamental building stones, rocks and minerals and fossils.

Zoological Section
The Zoological section, the largest of its kind in India, is rich with innumerable specimens of insects, fish, reptiles, mammals and birds.

Industrial Section
The industrial Section has boasts several thousand botanical specimens bearing upon medicine, forestry, agriculture and cottage-industry.

Nearby Attraction
If you are exploring Indian Museum, you must visit its nearby attraction such as Sahid Minar, BBD Bagh, St. John's Church, St. Andrew's Church, Govt. of W.B. Tourists Bureau.

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