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Best Museums in India for Cultural Insights

As per the dictionary a museum myo͞oˈzēəm/ - noun is a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited. Museums in any country are great insights into the cultural heritage of a country. These repositories of art, science and culture offer great insights into a nation's road to civilization and progress. So when we say that if you are traveling in India - notwithstanding the fact whether you are an Indian or a traveler from overseas - you should visit some of the best museums in India to get a peek into the soul and character of this nation and see the evolution of this country from the ancient ages into a progressive nation that it is now.

To make it simpler, we have listed below the top 10 popular museums in India. All these museums are architecturally beautiful and they have unique collections of the artifacts belonging bygone era as well as the modern marvels. A visit to any of these museums is your insight into India's rich culture, art, science and traditions. So here we go with the list of best museums in India for cultural insights into this incredible country.

1. National Museum, Delhi

 National Museum, Delhi
National Museum - One of the largest museums in India
National Museum is one of the largest museums in India. It was constructed long back in the year 1949 in Delhi. This museum is a must-visit for those who wish to turn back the pages of history. The museum presents a collection of luxury coaches of trains, paintings, jewellery, armors, decorative arts and manuscripts. One section of the museum has a big Buddha statue which was constructed by Sovereign Ashoka in the 3rd century BC.

2. Government Museum, Chennai

Government Museum, Chennai
Government Museum in Chennai
Also known as Madras Museum, Government Museum is the second largest museum in India. The museum was established in 1851. The museum has the finest masterpieces related to art, archaeology, anthropology, numismatics and many more fields. There some sections in the museums which show the main times of South India. The museum has a special section for children also. Book lovers will love the museum as it has a well-stocked library with a good collection of books.

3. Indian Museum, Kolkata

Indian Museum, Kolkata
Indian Museum in Kolkata
Indian Museum was established by Asiatic society of Bengal in 1814 in Kolkata. The museum is well-known for its unique collection of armors, ornaments, Mughal paintings and skeletons. The museum is divided into 6 sections wherein there are galleries having creative and scientific work of arts. These include works of geology and archaeology. It is one of the oldest museums of the world and a popular attraction of Kolkata.

4. Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai

Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai
Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai
Founded in the early years of the 20th century, Prince of Wales Museum is located in the center of Mumbai near the Gateway of India. The museum has three sections, namely the natural history section, archeology section and art section. All the sections also showcase different work of arts which come from the Gupta and Chaulkyas era.

5. Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
Salar Jung Museum in Darulshifa, Hyderabad
Salar Jung Museum is located in Hyderabad. The museum has an exclusive collection of textiles, clocks, paintings, metallic artifacts and carvings. All these come from different parts of the world including Egypt, China, North America, Nepal, Europe, Burma and India. The museum is known as an institution of National importance which was acknowledged by the Indian Parliament. Special exhibitions and workshops are organized every year in the museum.

6. Shankar’s International Dolls Museum, Delhi

Shankar’s International Dolls Museum, Delhi
The International Dolls Museum - A large collection of dolls in Delhi
Located in Delhi, Shankar’s International Dolls Museum has the largest collection of dolls. The museum has two sections; one section has dolls collected from European countries such as UK, USA, New Zealand and Australia and the other section has dolls from Asian countries such as Middle East, Africa and India. On their visit to the museum, visitors can also have a look at the wide collection of costume dolls which represent Indian tradition and dances.

7. National Rail Museum, Delhi

National Rail Museum, Delhi
The National Rail Museum in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Children’s all time favorite, the National Rail Museum has a vast collection of displays of Indian rails. Situated in the heart of Delhi, the museum covers an area of 10 acres. The museum also has a collection of working models, historical photographs and antique furniture. Old coaches of Maharaja’s are displayed in the museum. The key attraction of the museum is Fairy Queen which is one of the best preserved steam locomotive engines.

8. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai

 Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai
 Bhau Daji Lad - The oldest museum in Mumbai
The oldest museum in Mumbai, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum was established in 1855. The museum houses beautiful decorative and industrial arts of the 19th century. It also has historical photographs of Mumbai, copper and silver ware and costumes. The most important of all collections is the 17th century manuscript of Hatim Tai. There is a monolithic basalt elephant sculpture installed which originated from Elephanta Island.

9. Calico Museum, Ahmedabad

Calico Museum, Ahmedabad,Gujarat
Calico Museum in Ahmedabad,Gujarat
A famous attraction of Ahmedabad, Calico Museum was established in the year 1949 by Gautam Sarabhai and his sister Gira Sarabhai. The museum has a collection of fabrics which comes from the pre-historic times. The museum leaves the visitors enthralled with its art work. All the textiles which are displayed in the museum come from the exclusive collection of Mughal rulers.

10. Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram

Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram
Napier Museum in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Napier Museum is the oldest museum in Thiruvananthapuram. It was constructed back in the 19th century. The museum takes its name from Lord Napier who was the Governor of Madras. The museum has a collection of historic artifacts which include Kathakali puppets models, Kerala chariots, musical instruments and bronze idols of gods and goddess. Visitors can have a close look of the the culture and history of Kerala through this museum.

[Explore Best Museums and Art Galleries in India at Indianholiday.com]

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