If you happen to check in a hotel near Egmore and you are here for sightseeing, then you can never miss the Government Museum, which is located on the Pantheon Road in Egmore. From our hotel it was a walking distance and took less than five minutes. As a traveler I always wanted to learn and experience the history of a place. I never miss an opportunity to visit a museum at a place.
The museum, which is the oldest in South India, was called the Madras Government Museum and it was founded in 1851. Though it was opened in the first floor of the college in St. George Fort, it was later shifted to the Pantheon building in Egmore in 1854. The architecture of the museum building is quite amazing and known to be Indo-Sarsenic.
The museum is open from 9.30 am and it closes at 5.30 pm. We had to buy tickets to enter the building. I learned that the building exhibited the masterpieces of archaeology, art, anthropology, numismatics, botany, zoology, and geology.
We entered the main building, which exhibited many sculptures pertaining to Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain during different periods in the past. There were also galleries exhibiting different animals belonging to reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and so on. My kids were enthralled by the botany galleries showcasing certain species of plants and trees. The geology and numismatics galleries depicted many things about the earth and universe and the coins and medals respectively.
Next, we moved on to reach the front building, which has many exhibits on anthropology. I was amazed by the collections of arms and musical instruments here. There were some artifacts on ancient wares, which were quite intriguing.
The bronze gallery had many artifacts of statues pertaining to Vaishnavite, Buddhist and Jain. There were also coins and medals belonging to the nineteenth century. Then, we moved on to reach the Children’s gallery, which offered a lot of learning on subjects such as civilization, technology, science, and transportation.
There was a National Art Gallery, which was under renovation, so we went to the last one, the Contemporary Art Gallery. It exhibited many painting during the British period and there were modern paintings too. I could figure out the Tanjore paintings and traditional paintings of our country exhibited in one place.
On the whole, it was a worthy visit to the Government Museum, which still holds the history of the country intact.