The National Museum is the largest museum in the country and has several galleries covering 5,000 years of art and culture. The ground floor houses exhibits from Harappan Civilisation, stone, terracotta, bronze and wood sculptures, Buddhist Art, Indian Miniature paintings, Indian scripts and coin evolution, Decorative Art and Jewellery.
The first floor has Central Asian Art, Manuscripts, Ajanta Paintings, Maritime Heritage and Tanjore and Mysore Paintings.
The second floor has Indian Textiles, Pre-Columbian and Western Art, Indian Coins, Arms and Armour, Wood Carvings, Musical Instruments and Tribal Lifestyle of N E India.
Entry costs 300 rupees per foreigner, plus 300 rupees to use your camera. A free audio guide is provided in the foyer but ID must be left or a cash deposit. No bags are allowed and must be left in the cloakroom outside. Lockers are provided here and you keep the key.
Open 10am-5pm. Closed on Mondays.
The National Museum should be a must see for all. The building itself is a pleasant shelter from busy Delhi.
Especially good are the Harrappan or Indus Valley Civilisation artifacts, including the famous Mohen-jo-daro dancing girl and the hundreds of as yet undeciphered seals.
Another thrilling area is that of miniature paintings, so developed by different schools of art.
There are a whole lot of other interesting areas like manuscripts or the arms and weapons section.
When you are tired and hungry, there is excellent home-made food. We were a bit late for the canteen that is announced downstairs, it had already closed, so cannot say if it is good.
But there was another smaller one tucked away on the top floor of the museum and we had a wonderful lunch with fresh rotis etc coming our way.
Good homestyle food, and very reasonably priced.
National museum is Delhi's largest museum and provides vast storehouse of information of India's history and culture. Packed with exhibits ranging over five thousand years, one must be prepared to spend several hours here. It is located in Janpath and is closed on Mondays.
The National Museum has an amazing collection of Indian art and sculpture, which dates back from the prehistoric times and the priceless collection is spread over the three floors of the museum.
The ground floor has several galleries, each dedicated to a particular period in history. These galleries display rare pieces from the Paleolithic Age to the Mughal period. The most famous sculpture on this floor could be the Dancing Girl from Mohenjodaro, 2,500 BC. The Mughal period is depicted and displayed in vivid details in the paintings and Arabian manuscripts.
Of special interest is the superb Central Asian Gallery that exhibits the silk banners, sculpture and wall paintings that form part of Sir Aurel Stein's collection, brought to India in the early part of the 20th century.
A new gallery has been added to the ground floor, which is the Jewellery section. The first floor contains a varied collection of Indian miniature paintings from different schools, Mughal, Rajasthani and Pahari. Also catch a glimpse of simple stone Neolithic Tools (3,000-1,500 BC) and shell and bone jewellery excavated from the sites of Mohenjodaro and Harappa belonging to India's earliest civilization- the Indus Valley (2,500 BC).
Carved pillars and statues of the Mauryan dynasty can also be seen over here. Bronzes from South India, an impressive collection of stone sculpture, miniature paintings, textiles, coins and tribal art from part of its extensive collection.
The next floor is perhaps the best one, with a terrific display of weapons and costumes of the historical periods. There is a sales counter and library on the ground floor Another section of the gallery has a display of over 300 musical instruments.
Opened in 1960, the National Museum of India has in its possession over 200,000 works of equisite art, both of Indian and foreign origin covering more than 5,000 years of cultural heritage. The ground floor is where you find most of the artifacts from the Harappan civilisation, Gupta art, bronzes, buddhist art, Indian miniature paintings, Indian scripts and coins and jewellery. The first floor includes artifacts such as manuscripts, coins, Thanjavur paintings and maritime heritage. The second floor includes artifacts such as textiles, copper plates, wood carvings, musical instruments, arms and armour and antiquities from central Asia.
All-in-all this museum is a must see in Delhi and I spent about 2 hours here and still didn't see everything. You're given an audio tour (which is included in the admission price) that lasts about 75 minutes and covers the main masterpieces of the museum. I didn't take any pictures of the exhibits as the camera charges were pretty high but I did take a photo of the temple chariot by the entrance which dates from the 18th-19th century.
Open: 10am-5pm Tues-Sun. Closed Mondays. Admission: Rs300 for foreigners, Rs300 for still camera.