The land of cultural pinnacle, beautiful monuments and magnificent scenic beauty, Chennai, one of the four metro cities in India, hosts multiple options to spend weekend to holiday leisure. Besides encompassing beguiling religious abodes, film city, beaches and memorials, the city of Chennai also encloses museums which are distinctive in character. All these museums exhibit antiquities starting from the days of Pallava Kings to later British rulers.
Here is the detailed information about the major museums in Chennai.
Government State Museum Chennai Located at a distance of half km from Egmore Railway Station, Government State Museum, Chennai is a grand repository of the rich heritage of Indian state of Tamilnadu. The museum is comprised of six individual buildings displaying different antiquities exhibited in 46 galleries. Each building has separate items on display like art, numismatics, archeology, anthropology and some more. The museum has an exclusive collection of around 2000 Indian bronzes and Amaravathi marbles.
The pre-history Gallery of anthropology section depicts the lifestyle of Paleolithic man through lively artifacts. Besides this the section also exhibits the features of copper, bronze and iron ages. Armours, ornaments, agricultural equipments, ancient pottery, utensils and ritual objects help the visitors to understand about the life of primitive South-Indians.
The art section of the museum has a wealthy collection of paintings and sculptures representing both traditional and modern India. In traditional painting, Rajput, Tanjore, Mughal, Kangra and Decanni Schools attract attention whereas in modern paintings Oil, Tempera, Watercolour, Graphic and Acrylic mediums fascinate the visitors. The paintings of famous ancient Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma are displayed with majestic lighting system.
The latest addition to this section is Rock and Cave Art Gallery where Rock and Cave Art usually found in the remote areas can be seen.
In Children's museum multiple options are available for the edutainment of kids'. Sections like Science Gallery, Kids Corner, and Dolls' Gallery add to their amusement.
Each section of this museum has unique artifacts collected, excavated or obtained from different parts of the state or even the country as well.
Location: Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008, Tamil Nadu India.
Timing: 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed: Fridays and national holidays
Fort St. George Museumst A treasure trove of around 3661 antique items Fort St. George is a famous museum in Chennai depicting artifacts of different ages of modern Indian history. Popularly known as the White Town in Indian history this museum has three floors divided into 10 galleries. Other than the indigenous weapons like bow and arrow, the museum has a wealthy collection of armours starting from sword to canon shots, mortars and remaining of shells fired at and from Madras during the World Wars. There are depictions of two sons of Tipu Sultan as prisoners and paintings exhibiting constructions and renovation works went on from 1640 onwards.
The uniforms of different officials of British Army, dresses worn in various occasions by the bodyguards of Madras Governor, medals, and other antique items are found in Uniform and Medals Gallery.
While the Porcelain Gallery has different official tableware made of porcelain used by the East India Company and Arcot Nawabs, the Portrait Gallery houses oil painting portraits of senior British officials including Queen Victoria, Robert Clive, George III and his three wives.
In Indo-French Gallery section, there are antique items like decorated porcelain, French stamps and coins, furniture, clocks and lampshades, paintings of Mysore School, views of the fort from different angles are the major attractions of this gallery.
There are some other sections like Prints and Document Gallery, Miscellany Gallery and some more where all unique items can be seen.
Location: Fort St. George Museum, Fort St. George, Beach Road, Chennai
Timing: 9a.m. to 5p.m.
Periyar Science and Technology Centre Periyar Science and Technology Centre of Chennai is an exquisite spot to be explored by the science geeks. The museum was established in memory of famous South Indian revolutionary leader Thanthai Periyar. Different scientific inventions are explained through the working models. The museum has different sections divided into separate galleries named as Life Science Gallery, Energy Gallery, Transport Gallery, Physical Science Gallery and so on. Sections like Ocean Gallery provide sufficient information about oceanography.
Fun Mirrors Gallery provides information about practical Science Optics. Heart Museum is a unique section where anatomy of the hearts of different animals is displayed. This part of the museum makes the visitors aware about the evolution of life. Anatomy of the animals like elephant and whale are the most attractive element of its exhibition.
Other important sections include Children's Corner, 3D Science Theatre and many more.
Location: Kotturpuram, Duraisamy Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600085
Timing: 10.00 am to 5.45 pm.
Birla Planetarium An inseparable part of the Periyar Science and Technology Centre, Birla Planetarium, Chennai is a miniature form of our happening universe. To make the visitors aware about the astronomical phenomenon different celestial actions are recreated using multimedia effects and other scientific elements. The activities are shown inside an aluminium dome where more than 35 planetary activities can be seen. The exhibition brings life cycle of stars, solar system, comets, and information about and beyond the living planet is found very useful to the kids as well as the students of astronomy and astrophysics.
The cosmic presentations in the planetarium highlight various mysteries of the universe and unfold scientific facts related to the riddles of comets, black holes and dark energy.
Location: Tamilnadu Science & Technology Centre, Gandhi Mandapam Road (Behind CLRI), Chennai- 600 025
English: 10.15 am - 01.15 pm and 4.35 pm
Tamil: 12.00 noon and 2.30 pm
Closed: Mondays and other Holidays.
Regional Railway Museum, Chennai Located near South Colony of Perambur, Chennai, Regional Railway Museum is a promising site built to demonstrate the heritage of Indian Railways. A must-see spot for the rail-fans visiting Chennai has a good numbers of steam engines used during the rule of British Government in India. The museum also hosts different types of train-models, along with the presentation of real exhibits of meter gauge EMU, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and various types of rail engines which are used down the ages.
In the outdoor spaces of the museum near about 40 models of trains are kept on display.
The live models of different types of signals used for regulating trains are also displayed in other parts of the museum what gives a vivid idea about the evolution of railway in India.
Other must-see exhibits of the museum are models of bogies, track crossings, 3 tier model of trains running in Chennai, images of high-speed trains of different countries around the world and many more.
Location: ICF Furnishing Rd, Lakshmipuram, Anna Nagar West, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600038
Timing: 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM