Nadu is a land with history and culture. Innumerable historical
sites, cities and monuments across the length and breadth of the
state are a testimony to this rich cultural past. Tamil Nadu's museums
offer visitors a rare opportunity to view culture under a single
Government State Museum
This museum in Chennai is best known for two important collections:
sculptures from Amarvati and its famed Bronze Gallery. The Amaravati
collection has panels, pillars, carved railings and Buddha statues
of Milky white marble from a Buddhist stupa excavated at Amaravati,
Andhra Pradesh. There are bronze sculptures from the later Pallava,
Chola, Hoysala and Chalukya periods.
St. George Museum
The museum displays collection of portraits and paintings of
former governors of Chennai as well as of English royalty. Among
the other objects on view are weapons, coins, porcelain and the
communion vessels of the church.
Thanjavur Art Gallery
The former palace of the Nayaks of Thanjavur once viceroys
of the Vijaynagara rules and later hereditary rulers, is a wonderful
and extravagant piece of architecture, built in 1600. The huge enclosed
compound encompasses a complex which includes the Art Gallery, the
Saraswati Library and the Sangeetha Sabha or Music Hall.
A gigantic tower, the arsenal, decorated with bands of arches form
the external facade. One enters into a hall which is the sculpture
gallery where examples of south Indian stone sculptures dating from
the Pallava to Nayak period are exhibited.
The various sections in the museum deal with archaeology, anthropology,
zoology, numismatology, botany and geology. The museum has a fine
collection of bronzes which are not allowed to be photographed.