National Museum of India - History and Facts | History Hit

National Museum of India

New Delhi, Delhi, India

The National Museum of India is a museum of the country’s history in New Delhi.

Image Credit: Sumit.Kumar.99 / Shutterstock

About National Museum of India

The National Museum of India in New Delhi is a vast, comprehensive museum housing a large collection of artefacts spanning over 5,000 years of the country’s history.

History of the National Museum of India

The idea of a National Museum was first proposed in 1946. The Royal Academy of Arts (London) organised an exhibition of Indian art and artefacts which was displayed at Burlington House, and was the first time Indian art had been given high status in Britain. The collections were displayed in India and later transferred to the new National Musuem.

The museum’s first director, Grace Morley, helped develop the space into a clean, modern museum. Morley believed art should be for everyone and wanted to create a museum space which was not intimidating.

The National Museum of India today

From its gallery of sacred Buddhist artwork dating back to the fifth century BC and artefacts from the Bronze Age Harappan Civilisation to tribal art and costume, the National Museum of India offers a great insight into different aspects of India’s culture and past.

Highlights include the museum’s extensive coin collections, ceramics, 5000 year old Harappan figurines, Indian weaponry, miniature paintings, Buddha relics, medieval woodcarvings, textiles, and a 19th century five-tier wooden temple chariot.

The museum is slightly dated today, but remains worth a visit. Depending on your level of interest, you could spend most of a day here, or simply an hour or two. Audioguides are included in the ticket price for tourists and prove useful – you’ll need to bring you passport.

The museum café is one of the few places around the India Gate to eat and is extremely cheap – perfect for a pick-me-up for any museum-weary legs.

Getting to the National Museum of India

The museum is close to the India Gate, and Central Secretariat (Yellow line) and Udyog Bhawan (Violet line) metro stations are walking distance. A tuktuk or taxi will get you here from Old Delhi should you not want to take public transport.

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