Location : Corner of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road
Managed By : Government of India
Major Attractions : Painting of Laila Majnu, Dancing girl of Mohenjodaro
Mostly Visited For : Archaeological specimens, Terracotta artefacts
Akshardham Temple , Delhi
It might take 15 minutes to reach this colossal archive from Rashtrapati Bhawan, but takes a millenia to forget the experience. Nestling at the corner of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road, just south of rajpath, the National Museum has in its possession over 2,00,000 works of exquisite art, both of Indian and foreign origin embracing more than 5,000 years of our rich cultural heritage. Like many other government offices, the circular building with its three floors is painted in red and yellow, peeping from behind a huge chalkboard of variant shades of green. Its history of compiling ancient artefacts goes back to 1946, when a blueprint was created by the Gwyer Committee. Interesting articles from all across India were brought and housed at Rashtrapati Bhavan as an exhibition, which continued till the National Museum building was ready in 1960. Today, from the moment you enter this humongous treasure trove, you will be overwhelmed to see life-size sculpters and beautiful works of art and crafts, strewned all over the terrain that creates an illusion in themselves. To add a cherry on your cake, the museum also encourages guided tours, lectures and training programmes, reserve collection, library and a conservation laboratory.
The section that creates an epitome of amazement is
doubtlessly the sculptural section. Housing more than 9000 objects of
archaeological significance, the stretch also affords exquisite terracotta
and stucco figures that dates from 3 century BCE to the 19th century.
Start your art discovery from the ground floor that envelopes the
prehistoric age, with a gallery dedicated to prehistory and Indus Valley
Civilisation. Remember to meet the bronze statue of a dancing girl from
Mohenjodaro, the famous archaeological site located in modern Pakistan.
Far inside, one can see some rare items that have come from various states
and cities in the 1950s - 60s (collected from tribal and rural areas).
If you are passionate about ancient combat skills, trace your footmarks to the armoury section that houses a curious collection of impassive arms and armours on the second floor. Many of them are double-edged and so heavy that you would need at least three pairs of hands to just lift it off the stand! The antiquities from Central Asia are breathtaking, with over 11,000 objects mustered from the Sianking region of China by Sir Aurel Stein in three expeditions.
Akshardham Temple , Delhi
The next four ground floor galleries are filled with
sculpture and jewellery, including alluring pieces from the Greek
influenced Gandhara period (2-3 century BC) such as Buddhas dressed in
tongas that are much more sensuous in form than the terracotta figures
from the Gupta period (4-6 century BC). Don't miss the amazing collection
of paintings done by some Mughal painter on Laila Majnu. Majnu is shown
roaming the desert, is entirely dark-skinned and so skinny his ribs and
other bones are sticking out, while Laila is so beautiful. You might
wonder after seeing these pictures; Would the wonderful Laila have fallen
for the commoner Majnu? Just a casual thought
These paintings have
perfect physical forms and you will also find a collection of miniatures
on palm-leaf collected from Eastern India between the 10th and the 12th
Before winding up your discovery, do visit the strong room with a built-in vault, nestling on the second floor. It affords a lot of bizarre artefacts that beckons every visitor with a jaw-dropping experience. Oh! What an impressive collection it houses. Look for the amazing statue of Lord Buddha weighing 20 kg in pure gold or the ivory screen with four folds having ambrosial pictures of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan in a romantic mood. You can also see exquisite Tanjore paintings on glass, paintings studded with almost two inch large stones of rubies, diamonds, emeralds and gold foil. It is indeed a room that has its own aura.
Being at the centre of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road, at the extreme end of Rajpath, it is well connected to all over Delhi and is especially very near to New Delhi Railway Station. Catch a rickshaw and tell the driver where you want to go, or hire a cab (don't hesitate to bargain). The museum is open from 10 am to 5pm on all weekdays except Mondays. Tourists can also enjoy film shows shown on all the days. For more tourist related information, contact the Public Relations Officer, National Museum, Janpath.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit National Museum
Caressing A Heritage In Its Womb
A Glimpse of Pre-history Charm
Remains of Buddhism
Portraying Love of Life
A Treasure Trove of Gold
Tour of North India
Tour of North India
- Out of The World