Museums in India: Abode to India’s Rich Cultural Heritage
Looking for an interesting and educational experience within the country? Be sure to check out the museums in India. These museums offer fascinating insights into the past and present of this great nation. This list features a wide range of institutions ranging from art galleries to archaeological sites.
Whether it is the National Museum of Delhi to the legendary Virasat-e-Khalsa of Punjab, there’s something for everyone here.
Moreover, if you are looking for some budget-friendly ways to explore the country’s history at its best, then you have stumbled across the perfect article. India is a beautiful country with great history and culture, and you will surely learn about it in several ways. So, if you’re planning a trip to India, make sure to add at least one museum visit to your itinerary!
List of Top 15 Museums in India
India is a country that is home to some of the oldest and most significant galleries in the world. There are many Indian museums that are must-visit. From ancient relics to modern art, you will find tons of fascinating things in these top 15 museums.
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
India is a nation of art enthusiasts. The National Gallery of Modern Arts (NGMA) is the perfect paradise for these enthusiasts. This museum maintains paintings and other works of art that date back to the 1850s, following its mission statement, which aims to provide its visitors with an excellent art world.
In 1949, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, and art-conscious bureaucrats like Humayun Kabir first suggested the creation of this magical institution. On 29 March 1954, the Vice-President of India, Dr S Radhakrishnan, officiated at the opening of NGMA. Visitors can visit the gallery from 10 AM to 5 PM daily. Not to forget, the museum stays closed on Mondays and federal holidays.
Location: Jaipur House, Shershah Rd, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
Contact: 011 2338 4640
Virasat-e-Khalsa is a museum in Punjab that needs no introduction. Located in Anandpur Sahib, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. Moreover, it is one of India’s most serene and quiet museums. Dedicated to the Sikh culture, the museum commemorates the 300th anniversary of the ‘Khalsa’. Moreover, this institution also exhibits 500 years of Sikh history.
The institution, primarily designed as a storehouse for the ‘Khalsa’s’ rich past, highlights Punjab’s historical significance and the ten Sikh Gurus’ enduring message. The buildings at this holy site are specifically made of concrete and native sandstone to best convey their purpose. The place is open on all days from 10 AM to 4:30 PM except Mondays.
Location: 6GM5+M27, Anandgarh – Kesgarh Road, Anandpur Sahib, Punjab 140118.
Contact: 0188 723 2592
The Indian Museum, Kolkata
If you’re looking for an immersive experience in India, visit the Indian Museum in Kolkata. This place is one of the most comprehensive and interesting museums. The art department’s fabrics, rugs, lacquer work, glass, and pottery are divine. Additionally, the geology part of this museum is the largest in Asia and is one of the most significant in the world. At the same time, the gallery features examples of Persian and Indian artwork.
Regarded as the oldest and second largest museum in India, it houses valuable collections of antiquities, armour, and decorations, as well as fossils, skeletons, and mummies. The museum remains closed on Monday and is open from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Location: 27, Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Dharmatala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016.
Contact: 033 2252 1790
Hall of Fame, Leh
The Indian Army built the Hall of Fame museum to honour the valiant Indian troops who lost their lives protecting the homeland throughout. About 4 miles from the city of Leh, on the Leh-Kargil Road, is where you’ll find this museum. It serves as a poignant reminder of the enormous sacrifices made by our military to protect our nation.
Further, the entrance to this museum will give you the impression that you are entering another universe. It’s a two-story museum, each of which has a variety of exhibits. The OP Vijay Gallery part is located on the upper floor and offers sights of weapons used in the Kargil War. Furthermore, it’s kept accessible to guests all year long.
Location: Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, 194101, India
National Rail Museum, New Delhi
The National Rail Museum in New Delhi is one of India’s most popular tourist destinations. It is home to a broad collection of Indian railway artefacts and engines. The massive institution, which is close to Chanakyapuri, attempts to protect India’s 163-year-old railway heritage. The museum spreads over 10 acres of land, making it one of the largest railway museums in the world.
A few dummy specimens also offer rides to both adults and kids. Additionally, it’s equipped with interesting things, from historic locomotives and carriages to interactive exhibits and children’s playgrounds. So, if you are considering an interesting and informative day trip from Delhi, then be sure to visit the place. The institution remains closed on Mondays, and you can visit anytime between 9:30am to 5:30pm.
Location: Service Rd, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110021.
Contact: 011 2688 1826
Victoria Memorial: Museum in Kolkata, India
The Victoria Memorial is a remnant of the British Raj in India and is situated in Kolkata. This white-marbled building, a model of the Victoria Memorial in London, got erected in Queen Victoria’s honour to commemorate her 25 years of rule over India. In addition, Victoria Memorial is considerably more than just a popular attraction or significant municipal structure.
The spectacular monument serves as a reminder of the colonial and architectural history of the city. Besides, this is one of the most popular museums in India and a major tourist destination in Kolkata. If you are considering booking hotels in Kolkata for a solo trip or a family vacation, make sure to set aside some time to explore this fascinating place in the City of Joy.
Location: Victoria Memorial Hall, 1 Queens Way, Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071.
Contact: 033 2223 1890
Air Force Museum, New Delhi
The Indian Military Aviation and Indian Air Force have joined forces to create the country’s first institution of its kind, the Air Force Museum. This museum features a wide variety of aircraft that has played or are currently playing a significant part in national defence. Adding to it, this gallery offers an insight into the lengthy history of the Indian Air Force. It is conveniently located adjacent to the technical area gate of Palam Air Force Station.
Further, the entrance has an indoor gallery with historical images, artefacts, uniforms, and personal weapons of the Indian Air Force dating back to its founding in 1932. The gallery further opens up to a hangar with miniature planes and Air Force equipment. The museum remains closed on Monday and Tuesday. You can visit them between 10 AM to 5 PM.
Location: H4F8+JM4, Palam, New Delhi, Delhi 110010.
Contact: 011 2567 5161
National Museum, New Delhi, India
The National Museum is located in New Delhi at the intersection of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road. Regarded as one of the largest museums in India, the blueprint was carefully created by The Gwyer Committee. Subsequently, the institution got established in 1949. The museum boasts numerous galleries, for instance, Harappan Gallery, Gupta Gallery and Buddhist Art Section.
Each of these galleries showcases something unique and significant. Adding to it, you can also book yourself an audio tour by paying ₹100 for the Hindi tour and ₹150 for other languages. The National Museum Institute of the History of Arts, Conservation, and Museology is also housed at the museum. It’s open every day except Monday and national holidays. Further, entry is allowed from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Location: J669+QP7, Janpath Rd, New Delhi, Delhi 110011.
Contact: 011 2301 9272
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai
The erstwhile Prince of Wales Museum is Mumbai’s finest and most well-known museum. However, it’s been known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, or CSMVS, since 1998. This museum is housed in an Indo-Saracenic-style domed structure that was finished in 1914. Specifically, what makes the institution worth visiting is its distinctive collection that includes Tibetan art, Chinese ceramics, and Mughal and Rajput miniatures.
Besides, you cannot miss the remarkable Jehangir Art Gallery. The glass and jewellery collections are equally impressive. This museum’s galleries are sure to keep you busy for longer than just a few hours, thanks to its remarkable collection of close to 50,000 items. The place is open every day from 10:15 AM to 6 PM.
Location: 159-161, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400023.
Contact: 022 2284 4484
Odisha State Museum, Bhubaneswar
One of the busiest museums in India is the famous Odisha State Museum. This institution was founded in 1932 by two eminent professors from Ravenshaw College. It’s located close to Kalpana Square, at the intersection of the new capital metropolis of Bhubaneswar and the ancient temple city. Being the state’s cultural heritage repository, it exemplifies the wonderful Odishan Civilization over the millennia. Its simple seedling was as wonderful as its great, majestic fruit.
Furthermore, the Odisha State Museum comprises all types of artworks ranging from epigraphy, numismatics, and geology to the armoury, anthropology, and manuscript. The best time to visit the place is from 10am to 5pm. However, it’s closed on Monday and national holidays.
Location: Kalpana Square, Satate Musime, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751014.
Contact: 0674 243 1597
Shankar’s International Dolls Museum, New Delhi
Are you looking for a museum to visit in India that is interesting and engaging? If so, then you should consider visiting Shankar’s International Dolls Museum. Moreover, it is one of the unique museums you’ll find in India, and it’s located in New Delhi. The capital of our country is much more than just food, traffic and metros.
Delhi houses the best creation of mankind, the Doll Museum. Talented K. Shankar Pillai is the man behind this institution, which includes about 6000 dolls acquired from over 85 nations. The institution is located in the Children’s Book Trust building on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi. At last, you can visit here any day between 10 AM to 5:30 PM except on Mondays when the place remains closed.
Location: 4, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110002.
Contact: 011 2331 6970
The Calico Museum of Textiles, Ahmedabad
The Calico Textile Museum, Ahmedabad’s greatest educational destination, is an intriguing monument that attracts both Indian and foreign researchers interested in learning about Indian textiles. Indeed, this is one of those museums in India that is a must on your bucket list. This institution exhibits one of the best collections of handmade arts, more than 500-year-old antique and contemporary Indian textiles.
Also, there are some incredibly exquisite pieces that state extraordinary virtuosity and magnificence. You’ll find three-year-old Kashmiri shawls that require 100,000 threads to be painstakingly coloured before weaving. Once you arrive, there are several other attractions nearby, like the Sabarmati Ashram, which can be visited as well. The museum remains closed on Mondays. Besides, on Wednesdays, it functions from 9am to 5pm and on other days from 10:30am to 12:30pm.
Location: Opp. Underbridge, Jain Colony, Shahibag, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380004
Contact: 079 2286 5995
Akbari Fort & Museum, Rajasthan
When visiting the beautiful state of Rajasthan in India, be sure to visit the Akbari Fort and Museum. The institution is also referred to as Akbar’s palace, Akbari Quila, and Ajmer Fort. It’s located at Naya Bazar- the city centre of Ajmer, Rajasthan. Additionally, it was the residence of Prince Jahangir (Salim), the son of great Emperor Akbar.
In fact, the great ruler Akbar had given the order to construct this institution in 1570. If you decide to come upon this place, you will find an extensive collection of Armour and sculptures from the Mughal and Rajput periods. Moreover, this museum is home to many amazing artefacts and paintings dating back to the Mughal period. The fort in itself is a sight to behold.
Location: FJ6M+8C3, Naya Bazar, Ajmer, Rajasthan 305001.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Exhibition Centre, Ahmedabad
One of the fascinating museums in India is the Vikram Sarabhai Space Exhibition Centre in Ahmedabad. The institution was set up by the vision of scientist and astronomer Vikram Sarabhai. Also popular as “Mini ISRO”, it informs its visitors of the important developments and accomplishments accomplished by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The exhibition also hopes to spark young people’s interest in science and encourage them to pursue careers in the space industry. Further, a visitor to the exhibition will receive a glimpse of the full spectrum of ISRO activities, including satellites and launch vehicles. If you’re fascinated by science and space, be sure to visit this museum! The place is closed on Mondays, and the timings are from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
Location: Space Application Centre, Satellite Rd, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380015.
Contact: 079 2691 4042
Mahatma Gandhi Museum, Gujrat
Are you looking for an unforgettable museum experience? If so, be sure to visit the Mahatma Gandhi Museum in Gujarat, India. This institution is dedicated to the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most influential figures in Indian history. Here you can learn about his philosophy and see firsthand how it has shaped India today.
The museum was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on 30 September 2018, as part of the commemoration of Gandhi’s 150th birthday. This is one of the many museums in the country that offers a number of amenities to tourists to make their time there more comfortable. The institution remains closed for visitors on Monday, and the times are from 9 AM to 6 PM.
Location: Jubilee, Chowk, Jawahar Rd, Rajkot, Gujarat 360001.
To Sum Up
These are several amazing museums that can be found in India. Each one of them has its own distinctive story and collection to share with visitors. So, if you long for an enriching experience while in the country, make sure to include a visit to one (or all!) of these museums in India. You won’t regret it, and we vouch for this! So, why the delay? Let’s get touring!