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Best Museums in India

Museums are the windows to the rich cultural and archeological heritage of a country. While the pompous museums of Europe reflect the immense wealth they accumulated in the colonial era, the rather humble-looking museums of India reflect the long history of civilization in this ancient country. Here’s a look at the best museums in India that will take you through an emotional journey – pride, love, tragedy, curiosity and more.

Indian Museum, Kolkata

Founded in 1814 by Danish botanist Dr.  Dr Nathaniel Wallich, Indian Museum is the oldest and largest museum in the country. Also called “Jadu Ghar”, this multipurpose 3- storied museum houses galleries of art, archaeology, geology, industrial and zoological collections. You will find a vast collection of rare artifacts, fossils etc., including records of the earliest traces of life in the world. This is the best place to begin your trip to Kolkata – the cultural capital of India.

Ticket price: Rs. 50 per adult

Timing: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5pm

National Museum, Delhi

Delhi, the capital of India is a great place to explore medieval and modern history of India. If you are visiting the city for the first time, the National Museum is a great place to start with. The museum is the proud owner of 150,000 items covering some 5 millennia. The Chola statue of the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, excavates from the Indus Valley Civilization, relics of the Buddha from Piprahwa are some of the highlights of this museum.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Museum, Mumbai

Located near Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum is a treasure often ignored by tourists. During the First World War, the museum was used as a military hospital. the museum was later inaugurated by Lady Lloyd in 1922. It holds more than 50,000 exhibits starting from Indus Valley civilization to print gallery. The first floor of the museum holds art works. The second floor holds European art, armor, Mughal artifacts and others. You can find audio guides for an informed tour around the museum. It also houses a Children’s museum which has separate tickets.

Ticket Price: Rs.80 per adult +Rs.35 for Children’s museum

Open timings: 10:15 am to 6 pm

Archelogical Museum of Hampi, Karnataka

This is a small museum but one that I truly admired for its beauty. The museum is dedicated to the history of Hampi- an UNESCO world heritage site. Inside the museum, you will find a large model of the old city. This will give you a solid orientation of the city and help you with planning your Hampi itinerary.

Some of the notable collections here are the idols of Hindu deities and the coins of different eras from the Chalukyas to the kings of Vijayanagara. Another interesting exhibit is the one showing the evolution of the Devanagari script. 

  • Entry Fee – Rs. 40, including Vijaya Vittala Complex and Zenana Enclosure Complex.
  • Open time: 10 am to 5 pm

Heritage Museum of Wayanad, Kerala

The Heritage Museum of Wayanad, located in Sultan Bathery is another under-rated gem. It is mainly dedicated to the life and history of the tribes of Wayanad. You will find the items of their daily use which have remained almost unchanged for centuries.

You will also find some stone artifacts excavated from different places in Wayanad which were made to celebrate the victory of tribal warriors. You will also find many ancient sculptures of Hindu deities as well as tribal deities excavated from different regions – under the river, inside the forest or under-ground. 

Wayanad Heritage Museum

In the well-curated lawn of the Heritage Museum

These are my favorites. I must admit there are many more beautiful museums in India which remain to be explored. Please hit the comments section with your favorites. I will expand the list in future so that it helps fellow travelers and history-nerds.

This is the 13th post of #Blogchatter A2Z 2022.  Yes, I am through the half-way mark! If you liked the post please share it. Subscribe to get latest news about the blog delivered to your email id every month. 

Sinjana Ghosh

Sinjana Ghosh is a full-time business professional with a penchant for writing and travel planning. Backpack & Explore is a journal of her travel stories and tips she collected from her experience. She is the author of the travel book “Postcards from India” which is available on Amazon, Flipkart and Notionpress.com

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  1. Suchita Agarwal April 17, 2022

    Such an amazing list! I love museums. I have been in Bombay for so many years but haven’t heard of the Mumbai museum. Let me check it out 🙂

  2. Matheikal April 20, 2022

    Indian Museum, Kolkata, looks majestic. I guess the others too have their own unique charms. It’s just that the Kolkata one’s pic impressed me tremendously.

    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 20, 2022

      Yes, the Indian Museum architecture is quite grandiose


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