National Museum Delhi, Delhi - 2020 (Photos & Reviews)

About National Museum Delhi

The National Museum or National Museum of India in New Delhi is one of the largest museums in India. Situated on Janpath Road, the museum is a hotspot for people who are indulged in art, culture, and history. After granting the appointment from the Government in India, in 1946 the Maurice Gwyer Committee laid the foundation stone of the National Museum. The National Museum of India was completed and inaugurated on 15th August 1949. This marvel functions under the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India.

The museum houses more than 2,00,000 artifacts of Indian and International origin. The works of art and culture displayed here are said to be over 5,000 years old. Some artifacts belong to the ancient civilization of Harappa. Tourists from all over the globe visit the museum not only to see the wonders of ancient civilizations but also to witness the culture of various nations through the various paintings, statues and sculptures that are here. 

The National Museum of Delhi operates with a full-fledged list of various departments, viz. 

1. Archaeology

2. Arms & Armour

3. Central Asian Antiquities

4. Anthropology

5. Manuscripts

6. Paintings 

7. And many other departments. 

The various departments hold artifacts that represent the glorious and rich past of the civilizations and also reflects the diverse ways of practicing architecture and art. 
The museum has a lot of knowledge to offer to the visitors who have minimal interest in history and ancient civilisations.

History of National Museum

An exhibition in 1947-48 of various Indian historical artifacts was on display in the Royal Academy of London. Taking an idea or inspiration from this, various curators from the exhibition decided to plan a similar exhibition to display artifacts from museums across India. With this, an exhibition was organized in Delhi in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1949. The exhibition turned out to be a very popular one and this led to the idea of establishing a permanent museum. 

The construction work of the museum was given a green signal and by 1949, the National Museum of India was constructed. C Rajagopalahchari, the then Governor-General of India inaugurated the museum on 15th August 1949. The various ancient artifacts in India’s possession were out on display in the museum and the place became a center of knowledge and history.

Through the years, there were various modifications and several other constructions that took place in and around the museum. With all the advancements completed, the final phase of the museum was ready by 1989.

How to Reach National Museum Delhi

By Metro: One can take a metro from IGI Metro Station towards New Delhi and then change on the yellow line towards Huda City Centre at the New Delhi station and get down at Central Secretariat. After getting down, you can walk along Janpath to reach the National Museum.

By Road: The National Museum is around 13km from Delhi Airport and can easily be reached through road. One can take a private cab or book it online for the museum. Buses can also take you to the museum but the frequency is not much and it will cost you more time.

Best Time to Visit National Museum Delhi

The best season to visit museum is during the winter season(October-January. As the environment in the winter is cold and mild, a visit to the museum during winters will make it more mesmerising.

The best day to visit the National Museum is Wednesday morning. Every Wednesday, the authorities conduct gallery talks where visitors are taken across their choice of the gallery. It is advisable to reach the museum by 10 am as there would be a rush on the ticket counters.

What Not to Miss at National Museum Delhi

Galleries In National Museum

With various departments under its branch, various galleries are dedicated to numerous civilizations. These galleries display the artifacts and complete information of the respective civilization. Below are a few galleries among all the galleries in the museum:

1. Harappan Gallery- 
The museum has artifacts from one of the oldest civilizations of the planet; the Harappa Civilization. Also known as the Indus Valley Civilization, the Harappan Civilization existed in the north and north-western regions of India and eastern regions of Pakistan.

Around 3500 objects are on display in the Harappan Gallery of the museum. Among the various artifacts, the most popular one is of a “Dancing Girl” made up of Bronze and belonging to the earliest Harappan days. In the gallery, one would also find many sculptors made in Bronze and Terracotta Ivory, Semi-Precious stones and some Bone Objects. Among the various things found during the excavations, many seals were found which depicted various animals like bulls, elephants, tigers, crocodiles, and unicorns. 

One of the major sites of the Harappan Civilization, Mohenjo Dara when excavated in the 1920s was filled with many important findings of the civilization. Post-independence, Mohenjo Daro went to the Pakistan side and by mutual agreements, the findings were equally distributed and kept on display in India and Pakistan in the National Museum of India and the Lahore Museum respectively. 

Some of the key artifacts of the gallery include: 

- Toy Cart (2700-2100 BC)
- Bull (2700-2100 BC)
- Pashupati Seal (2700-2100 BC)
- Climbing Monkey (2700-2100 BC)
- Dancing Girl (2700-2100 BC)

2. The Three Dynasties Gallery: Maurya, Shunga and Satvahana- 
This gallery has a collection of artifacts spanning from the Maurya, Shunga and the Satvahana dynasties. The various objects in this gallery are as old as the 4th Century BC and most of those objects have a mirror-like finish which is motivated by the ancient Greek style. 

There are many carved scripts in the gallery which depict an event or a meeting. One of the major scripts shows Sage Asita visiting young Siddharta. Various railings can be found in the gallery belonging to the age-old Stupas. These railings have several stories depicted on them, one of them associated with Buddha and Sage Drona. 

Various other objects relating to Buddha are found in the gallery such as Buddha practicing dharmachakra, Buddha’s footprints, etc. 

Some of the key artifacts of the gallery include: 

- A child learning Brahmi Script (2 BC)
- Women in grief (From the Shunga period)
- Asita visiting King Suddhodana (From the Satvahan period)

3. Kushana Gallery- 
With artifacts from the 1st to the 3rd century BC, the Kushana Gallery houses objects carved from the Gandhara School of Art and Mathura School of Art. The Gandhara Art was highly motivated by the Greek interpretation of arts and the major themes of these objects were about the Buddhist ideology. Among the various popular artifacts belonging to the Gandhara School of Art, one “Standing Buddha” made from grey schist rock is the most prominent one. 

On the other side, the Mathura School of Arts had objects belonging to the religions of Buddhism, Jainism, and Brahmanism. 

Some of the key artifacts of the gallery include: 

- Laughing Boy (2nd- 3rd BC)
- Statue of Kuber 
- Ayagapata, Jain Plaque

4. Gupta Gallery- 
The main centers of art and architecture during the Gupta period were Sarnath and Mathura. Artifacts from the Gupta Period belong in the 4th Century BC to 6th Century BC. This period was a prominent period in the field of architecture and sculpting and it created a landmark of beautiful architecture for the coming generations. In the gallery, one can find sculptures depicting some scenes from the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. 

Some of the key artifacts of the gallery include: 

- Laxman cutting the nose of Surpanakha
- Mukhalinga of Shiva (5th Century BC)

Places to visit near National Museum 

1. Election Education Centre- 
Located in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, the Election Education Centre or Election Museum was established to showcase and celebrate the rich history of electoral processes of India. The Election Education Centre consists of a photo gallery that reflects on the history and the journey of elections in several parts of India. The museum is open to public visits from 11 am to 4 pm from Monday to Friday. 

The center also houses

- A library
- AV Room (for special videos)
- Electoral Management Centre 

2. Swaminarayan Akshardham- 
Located at a distance of 6kms from the National Museum, the Akshardham temple is a very popular holy place. Almost 150 ft. high, the temple serves as a holy place and a spiritual campus for Hindus. The beautiful temple is built with pink sandstone from Rajasthan which gives it the magnificent pink look. 

The complex does not only has a temple but also houses many other things like

- Water show
- An IMAX hall 
- Food court
- Gardens and much more

3. Mughal Garden- 
The iconic Mughal Garden in the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the most popular garden in Delhi. The garden houses more than 70 species of different flowers, some of which are seasonal. Among the 70 species, you will find maximum flowers of Daffodils, tulips, bonsais, and roses in the garden. 

Just not that, there are separate garden sections which comprise of flowers which are sacred to the various religions. 

4. Agrasen ki Baoli- 
Located around 7km from the National Museum, Agrasen ki Baoli is one of the picturesque baoli of India. Agrasen Ki Baoli is known for its haunted elements and this has attracted a lot of tourists to the place. Many tourists visit the place to know about its enchanting history and its spooky past. 

The baoli is very old and said to be built around the Mahabharata period. Despite being one of the oldest baoli of India, Agrasen Ki Baoli is a very well preserved place.

Other Essential Information About National Museum Delhi

- Location
: Janpath, New Delhi 

- Timings: 10 am to 6 pm Tuesday to Sunday. The museum remains closed on Monday

- Price:  Rs. 20 for Indians
              Rs. 650 for Foreigners which includes Audio Guide
              For students, up to 12th Std. (with valid id-card) , there is no entry fee. 

Tips for Visiting National Museum

Since the place is of National importance, there are some instructions that you have to follow 

1. Taking videos inside the museum premises is not allowed

2. One can take pictures inside the premises but only after taking the necessary permissions from the authorities.

3. For elderly people or differently-abled, wheelchair service is available. It is advisable to book the wheelchair in advance.

4. Do not miss the precious Indian Jewellery Collection at the Alamkara Collection of the museum.

5. Want to see the playing cards of ancient times? See the Ganjifa Cards in the Decorative Arts Gallery. 

6. Always check in advance the timing of the guided tours of various galleries.
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People Also Ask About National Museum Delhi

  1. Is parking allowed inside for visitors or not?

    There is parking space for tourists inside the museum near the Archaeological Survey of India’s building. The parking service is free of cost for the visitors.
  2. Is there a storage facility available for bags/luggage?

    There is a storage facility available at the Museum cloakroom which is located near the entrance gate of the museum and is free of cost.
  3. Is the Museum wheelchair accessible? Do you have wheelchairs?

    Halls and various paths of the museum are accessible by wheelchairs and run across various locations of the museum. Also, there are wheelchair friendly entrances and elevators.To make this place friendly for the differently-abled ones, the authorities have provided wheelchair services.
  4. Is there a place to eat in the Museum? What are their hours?

    Yes, there is a canteen to eat in the museum. The canteen serves breakfast, lunch, and snacks. This not only helps to generate revenue but also helps in keeping the visitors engage in the museum. The canteen serves food from 10 am to 1.30 pm and from 2.30 pm to 4.45 pm daily.
  5. Are there any other restrictions in the galleries?

    To make the place more and more friendly for families, the authorities have strictly prohibited smoking in the museum premises. Also, visitors cannot eat and drink in the various galleries of the museum. The authorities have put forth many steps to make sure that the museum remains clean and also visitor friendly.
  6. Is photography allowed in the Museum?

    To make sure that the security of the museum is not disturbed, the authorities do not allow visitors to take pictures in the museum and galleries without prior permission. So if you want to take pictures of the various historical objects, you will have to take permission from the authorities.

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