The Pondicherry museums are the powerhouses of art and culture having an unusual collection of things that were uncovered from the Arikamedu site near Pondicherry. A couple of museums are located in the homes of yesteryears' royal people. The museums are both - enlightening and entertaining. The mementos clearly talk about the trade that prevailed in the region of Pondicherry with the Roman Empire in early centuries which continued till the pre christian age. Also displayed in the museums are several means of transport being used in the ancient colonial era in Pondicherry. Now, to list down the major museums:
The Puducherry Museum One of the most widely acclaimed Pondicherry Museums is The Puducherry Museum. It is a repository of an exclusive collection of relics and artefacts that belong to the Pallava and Chola dynasties. The fossilized trunks of the ancient trees are preserved in the courtyard while on the foyer of the museum stand numerous stone carved statues. The ground floor showcases several modes of transport used in the region in the past. Bronze statues of Gods and Goddesses are also present in the museum.
The geological sphere of The Puducherry Museum offers an encounter with anexceptional collection of coins, handicrafts and church relics. The best part is that themuseum has separate sections for fossils and shells.
Address: The Puducherry Museum, St Louis St, White Town, Puducherry
Timing: 10 a.m to 5 p.m.
Closed: On Mondays and all national holidays.
Bharathi and Bharathidasan Memorial Museums
Bharathi and Bharathidasan Memorial Museums are established in the abodes of two Tamil poets Subramanya Bharathi and Kanakasubburatnam respectively. Since they both were invincible writers, today their houses have been transformed into magnificent museums in order to protect and maintain their precious work and things.
Subramanya Bharathi (1882-1921), fondly famous as Bharathiar, relocated to Pondicherry in 1908 as a runaway from the then ruling Britishers of India. This Tamil super patriot and an excellent poet made quaint Pondicherry, which was a French colony for long, his home. Some of the outstanding patriotic compositions of Subramanya Bharathi were composed in this house. He also wrote a few of his finest romantic poems during this phase. The Bharathiar Memorial Museum (or in other words Research Center), Pondicherry also demonstrates other manuscripts, photographs and letters of the great poet.
Address: 20, Eswaran Dharamaraja Koil Street, Pondicherry
The Bharathidasan Museum used to be the home of the well-celebrated poet and playwright Kanakasubburatnam (1891 - 1960). He was more popular as Bharathidasan, which implies the disciple of Bharathi. He was a fervent follower of Subramanya Bharathi and his works were equally praiseworthy as was Bharati's. He made his mark in writing scripts for films as well. Some of them were about the rights of women and the Dravidian culture, which earned accolades.
Address: 95 PerumalKoil Street, Pondicherry.
Bharathi and Bharathidasan Memorial Museums commemorate the great poets ever lived and the preservation of their indomitable work continues to offer a look through the golden era of Tamil literature.
Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum Ananda Ranga Pillai was the dubash of Dupleix, the governor of Pondicherry during the French rule. The diaries of Pillai are nothing less than the depot of information on the 18th century French India. His mansion falls into the list of one of the oldest buildings on the west side - which was then the "natives' quarters". Therefore, the architecture is a flawless blend of French and Indian styles. It was a well furnished house with the plush ambience and lavish touch, so it offers a look around that yester era and bygone lifestyle culture. Presently, one has to attain a special permission to visit the mansion.
Jawahar Toy Museum Having a unique assortment of toys and decorated dolls, the Jawahar Toy Museum is a perfect representative of the culture of the region. Situated in the Goubert Avenue near the lighthouse, the museum, more likely a doll's house, is commonly visited by children who are fond of decorated and ornamented puppets and playthings.
The museum boasts of a collection of about 120 dolls, designed and decorated. The costumes on the dolls are on the lines of traditional attire that is evident to the rich culture of the country. Since 120 dolls unravel different states of the country, dazzling dolls from Punjab, Bengal, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Kashmir and southern states leave the visitors mesmerized. The artistry in terms of designs and ornaments play a vital part too when it comes to the excellence of the museum.
The most loved section of the museum is the one that exhibits a fairyland with the puppet doll of the Lord Ganesha.Besides being one of the best Pondicherry museums, this museum is also informative as it educates children who gather in huge numbers about different aspects of India, including 'the unity in diversity'.
Address: Old Lighthouse, Goubert Avenue, Close to Gandhi Maidan, Puducherry
Timing: 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
Closed: On Mondays and national holidays.