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Created in 1851, the Government Museum Complex is a collection of buildings which create a large museum complex located in Egmore, resulting in its other moniker, the Egmore Museum. Built over what’s called the Pantheon Complex, it is home to numerous displays of various categories. All fascinating and unique, these artifacts are categorized under the following- archaeology, art, anthropology, zoology, numismatics, botany and geology. It generates footfall up to 1000 a day and more on the weekends. With many of the buildings within the museum compound being over 100 years old, the museum is the second oldest in India and one of the largest in South Asia.
The museum complex ground has a history of being passed from hand to hand till the land was finally used to construct the museum. In 1778, a civil servant was granted 43 acres of land by the then governor of Madras to build an estate upon. The land was assigned to a committee of 24 individuals who were responsible for the city’s public amusements. They sold the land to an Armenian merchant who in turn sold it back to the government, who ended up using it as a collector’s showcase. Ultimately the Central Museum was built and established. The museum grounds once housed Madras’ first ever zoo!
The museum complex underwent numerous updates ever since its inception with only one building remaining untouched from the original complex. It was built in Indo - Saracenic style and stained glass windows, intricate and elaborate woodwork, stucco decorations and wooden ceilings make up its interiors, all supplemented by teakwood furniture and marble floors. Floral and geometric designs adorn the pillars and columns. Among all the buildings, the Museum Theater is one of the most striking as is the National Art Gallery, which houses rare paintings by various artists such as Raja Ravi Verma. Another highlight is the Bronze Gallery, with a lovely collection of South Indian bronzes along with informative write ups in English. You can see shining, bronze statues of the Lord Shiva dancing around in the ring of fire, glinting in glory.
An interesting stop over for families and those who frequent museums and historical places, the Government Museum Complex is worth a look. Be sure to give them a call to find out how many sections are accessible to the public as renovations might still be on. Whether you choose to spend an entire day in the air conditioned art galleries or just breeze through the exhibits, it’s a great way to learn, explore and see some really visually pleasing works of art.
The Government Museum in Chennai is one of the largest in Asia and apart from housing antique artifacts has in its past also acted as the first zoo in Madras. With such a fascinating history, it is but expected that the museum attracts a lot of visitors every year and a long waiting line. Tickets for Government Museum can be easily clubbed into a tour that covers other attractions of Chennai. You can easily buy tickets for Government Museum from our ticketing section and club them with other Government Museum tickets for tours. Check Government Museum ticket prices before if you are worried about budgets.
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Wow so much knowledge that can be passed across generations. Hope government can shell out some more money from its pockets for maintaining places like these. One can spend days here to grasp the tons of knowledge this place offers.
Very good place to gain knowledge about nature, animals and history. Can enjoy a whole day here if you have your food with you. Outside Restaurants are not so good.
One of the memorable place during my visit to Chennai. But plan a head to pack your food from home so that you can spend more time in the museum else you have to go in search of restaurants
Best place to gain knowledge. There are 6 buildings each of different kind. We can spend nearly 6 hours if we are interested in museums
Very good museum. Should plan for a full day visit. Articles from various states are displyed here, that too mainly from the southern states. Inside the museum, one public library is there. Better carry food items with you, not so many shops nearby or inside. Must watch museum !