Delhi is home to some of the best museums in the country. The priceless relics, the historic treasures and masterpieces are definitely worth viewing at least once. They aren’t boring or uninteresting. In fact, the history, culture and story behind every treasure are magnetic and interesting. So, here’s a list of Museums in Delhi that you must visit for its historic grandeur and cultural opulence.
National Gallery Of Modern Art
India is a country of art lovers, and National Gallery of Modern Arts (NGMA) is no less than heaven for them. Following its motto of delivering an excellent world of art to its visitors, National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, preserves paintings and other artistic pieces dating back to 1850s. NGMA at Delhi is the main museum located in the Jaipur House. It was established on March 29, 1954, by the Indian Government. The gallery helps people to connect the works of modern art with their vital passions of the human spirit.
The Gallery houses a collection of more than 14,000 artworks which includes work that is as old as a hundred and fifty years. As you visit the modern art museum, you get a chance to witness the creativity of Thomas Daniell, Rabindranath Tagore, Raja Ravi Verma, Nandalal Bose, and many other foreign sculptors and artists. It showcases a perfect blend of modern and contemporary arts in the form of visual galleries and different exhibitions. So, head towards it and let the artist within you cherish the beautiful world of innovation.
Also known as the National Museum of India, the National Museum in New Delhi is one the largest museums in India, situated on the corner of the Janpath and Maulana Azad Road. Established in 1949, the blueprints of the majestic repository were prepared by the Gwyer Committee set up by the Government of India in 1946. Today, the museum boasts of possessing a whopping 200,000 artworks, both Indian and foreign, and is maintained by the Ministry of Culture, Department of India. Covering an extensive range of products from the prehistoric times to modern works of art, the museum traces the rich cultural heritage of nations across the world, from over 5000 years ago.
The museum also houses National Museum Institute of the History of Arts, Conservation and Museology which was added as a different section in 1983. Since 1989, this section runs different courses in History of Arts, Conservation and Museology for Masters and Doctoral degrees. Besides, the repository boasts of 4th and 5th century B.C. relics, dating back to the times of Buddha and the Harappan Civilization, in addition to numerous wood carvings, paintings, sculptures, murals, textiles and armoury. The two-storied building has clearly segregated chambers to display antiques of different periods. It covers all departments including Archaeology, Decorative Arts, Jewellery, Manuscripts, Textiles, Numismatics, Epigraphy, Central Asian Antiquities, Anthropology, Pre-Columbian American and Western Art Collections. The museum is an unparalleled blend of the glorious past and the wondrous present.
Popularly known as the Crafts Museum, the National Handicrafts Museum is a colourful amalgamation of the diverse culture and rich traditions of our country. Located in the far corner of the magnanimous Pragati Maidan in Delhi, the museum is a centre to exhibit varied specimens in handicrafts, textile and local decor. Designed by the prominent architect Charles Correa, the museum is currently under the management of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. At present, the museum houses over thirty-three thousand assorted collections of various crafts collected over a period of last 60 years from different states of India. A treasure trove of rich handloom and handcrafted products, the repository also has a sales section dedicated to satiate the visitors if they want to pick souvenirs.
The manifold collection inside the museum includes exhaustive textiles and fabrics, bronze and metal lamps, sculptures, wood carvings, bamboo crafts, terracotta figurines, tribal paintings etc. The centre was established with an objective to preserve, protect and revive the tradition of local handicrafts. Among the multiple galleries housed in the complex, the popular ones include Tribal and Rural Craft Gallery, Gallery of Courtly Crafts, Textile Gallery, Gallery of Popular Culture etc. Within the premises is also located a mini model of a village, spread over 5 acres of land. The village complex displays actual generic exhibits depicting the life of rural India. Besides, the museum also has a library, an auditorium, a research centre, and a laboratory.
Charkha Museum is one of the latest additions to the wonderful assets of Delhi. Constructed in collaboration with KVIC (Khadi and Village Industries Commission), the museum highlights the importance of the great heritage of Indian Charkha. Inaugurated on 27th May 2017, the museum is built atop the underground Palika Bazaar in Connaught Place opposite the Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan. Managed by New Delhi Municipal Corporation, the gigantic model of the Indian Charkha (26 feet long, 13 feet wide and 4 feet high) promotes the philosophy of self-reliance. The charkha weighs about 5 tonnes and is weatherproofed to stand sturdy against storms, rains and sun.
This symbol of nationalism celebrates the history and evolution of our culture, Swadeshi movement and is a dedication to the Father of our Nation- Mahatma Gandhi. Standing firm in the heart of the city with the colossal Indian flag unfurled adjacent to it, the vibe and the aura of the place resonates with patriotism and national sentiment. The in-house museum showcases 14 vintage charkha models and depicts the journey of charkhas from ‘kapas’ to ‘yarn’ to the final ‘khadi product’. In addition, the museum also has a multimedia display of Gandhiji’s journey from his younger days to his death.
Shankar’s International Dolls Museum
Situated in the Children’s Book Trust Building at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Shankar’s International Dolls Museum is a veritable dreamland for kids. Shankar’s Museum is one among the most popular tourist attractions of the city; the idea behind the museum was conceptualized by the famous cartoonist K. Shankar Pillai. Segregated into two sections, the repository has over 160 shelves full of dolls from all across the world. At the time when it was created, in 1965, the museum was inaugurated with just around 500 dolls; however, as of now, the number has shot up to a collection 6500 dolls from over 85 countries, 500 of which are from the different states of India itself.
Spread over an area of 5000 square feet, the museum has two section- one to display the dolls from western nations and second to display dolls from India and the Asian countries. It also has a workshop area where tourists can learn the art of doll making. The dollhouse itself has been designed in various themes including- man on the moon, Mexican aborigines, Japanese kabuki dancer etc. Shankar’s Museum is the largest of its kind in all of India. Considered as the best option for children’s day out, the museum is frequented by visitors all through the year.