Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM; Weekly Holiday: Friday
The Government Egmore Museum in Chennai is really a huge museum with six separate galleries, each having different types of exhibits. The above photo was taken near the entrance (of gallery 1) and I must mention that this museum is quite neatly maintained. The entrance fee is fifteen rupees per head, and there were boards outside every gallery asking us not to use the cell phone camera. Well, ok. I will just publish the photos that I took outside the museum galleries! I think, they are allowing foreigners to use cameras with special permission and huge fee.
Each gallery has a specific theme. The first gallery contained a lot of sculptures that were found during ancient periods (mainly from the South Indian geography). There were some interesting information like the origin of South Indian languages, Dravidian-Aryan cultures, etc. When I went, they had kept an exhibit of an ancient coin counting machine. This was a wooden slate with a lot of circular holes. I guess, they used to spread coins all over the plate till coins settled in all the individual holes. Then they could count the whole batch as a fixed value.
The other galleries had an exhaustive collection of flora and fauna. There were so many stuffed animals, reptiles, fishes, birds and even skeletons. There was a huge skeleton of a dinosaur, that was hanging above and also a skeleton of an over grown elephant. There were separate galleries for ancient bronze statues and medals/coins belonging ancient South Indian empires. These two galleries were air-conditioned.
There was a separate section for different types of stamps released by the Indian Government. There were stamps honoring Albert Einstien, Srinivasa Ramanujam, Various Government bodies, and what not. There was even a collection of foreign stamps donated by somebody. There was a cross-section (I think from Pondicherry) of a huge tree that was displayed along with its time-line and looks like that tree had survived more than 250 years!
There was a separate gallery for crafts, music instruments, decorative items and other things that were used by Kings and Queens. There was even an art gallery that contained huge paintings of various Englishmen and general artistic subjects. There was a children’s gallery, but since I was no longer in that category, I did not get into it. I guess they have converted a palace into the Egmore Museum, and the buildings themselves were interesting exhibits!
Click here to see the photos of different Nataraja statues collected from various locations and belonging to various centuries, displayed in this museum.
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