Housing an extensive and grand collection of artifacts and relics from the historical and cultural past of India along with several other fascinating galleries illustrating the natural wonders of the world and the economic heritages, the Indian Museum in Kolkata is one of the oldest museums in the world and a must-have experience in the City of Joy Kolkata.
Timing: 10 am to 6:30 pm (Tuesday to Friday); 10 am to 8 pm (Saturday and Sunday); Closed on Mondays and public holidays
Location: Nehru Road, Park Street, Kolkata, West Bengal
Entry Fees: Rs50 for Indians, Rs500 for Foreigners, Rs20 for Kids above 5 years
The Indian civilization is one of the oldest civilizations in the world and thus has some of the most ancient relics to showcase. One of the best places where you will find these old relics and antiquities is the Indian Museum located in Kolkata, also known as the City of Joy. Being the largest and the earliest multipurpose museum in India as well as the Asia-Pacific region, and one of the oldest museums in the world, the Indian Museum in Kolkata was established over 200 years ago in 1814 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal and is a heritage monument of the city.
Housing an extensive range of assortment of artifacts that illustrate the social and cultural past of India from pre-historic times, the Indian Museum showcases exhibits from six fields; Art, Anthropology, Zoology, Economic Botany, Geology, and Archeology. Upon getting established, the museum was known as the Asiatic Society Museum and later on came to be known as the Imperial Museum or the Indian Museum. It was in 1867 that the construction for the current building of the museum began and in 1875 all the collectibles from the Asiatic Society Building were transferred to the current building. In 1878, the Indian Museum opened its gate to the general public with two galleries with the addition of new galleries over the years. The museum is administered by the Indian Government Ministry of Culture and is one of the most visited attractions of the city as well as a delight for the history and science paramours.
The Indian Museum houses exhibit not only from the Indian sub-continent but from all over the world and especially from Europe. Massive and indigenous objects such as armors, antiques, relics from the Mughal era, fossils, mummies, skeletons, etc., are housed in the different galleries of the museum. Different galleries in the museum under the above-mentioned sections are as follows –
Bird Gallery, Botanical Gallery, Coin Gallery, Bronze Gallery, Barhut Gallery, Egypt Gallery, Insect Gallery, Mammal Gallery, Mask Gallery, Mughal Paintings Gallery, Textile Gallery, Long Archaeology Gallery, Gandhara Gallery, Gallery of Decorative Art, Fossil Gallery, Human Evolution Gallery, Fish Gallery, Rocks and Minerals Gallery, Amphibia and Reptilia Gallery, Terracotta and Minor Arts Gallery, Siwalik Gallery, etc.
In addition to this, the museum also has a library that shelves over 50,000 books, rare publications, and journals which the visitors can access by paying a nominal fee. To buy some souvenirs or memorabilia such as photographs, postcards, art albums, children’s books, etc., the Museum Shop has it all. The Indian Museum also organizes exhibitions throughout the year in distinct fields for example sculpture, cinema, biological diversity, photography, literature, and many more for the entertainment of the visitors and to impart knowledge to the young masses.