Museums and Galleries in Madhya Pradesh


Madhya Pradesh museums and galleries provide a wide scope for the tourists to take a plunge into the history of Madhya Pradesh. Thus, Madhya Pradesh museums and galleries form an integral part of the Madhya Pradesh tourism.

Throughout the length and breadth of Madhya Pradesh , we come across a number of museums and galleries that sings the praise of the cultural heritage of Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh has a rich history stud with a wide range of magnanimous kings. Madhya Pradesh museums and galleries actually brings back the golden era of the Mauryas, Gupta, Mughals, Marathas, Britishers and the rest.

Some of the significant Madhya Pradesh museums and galleries that deserve special mention in this context are:
  • Central Museum - Central museum houses paintings, coins, porcelain objects, metals and ivory toys and artifacts. Besides, it also contains wood carvings, and many handicrafts.

  • State Museum - It contains coins, sculptures, terracotta, paintings and other stuffs.

  • Birla Museum - It houses tools and implements from the Old and New Stone Ages.

  • Bharat Bhavan - This is a complex containing many buildings that contains items related to music and ancient artifacts.

  • HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum - This museum houses miniature paintings, bronze sculpture, manuscripts, coins, etc.

  • Archaeological Museum, Gwalior - Inscriptions, seals, stone pillars, metal images and many sculpture is a specialty of this museum.

  • Archaeological Museum, Khajuraho - It contains a wide range of things collected from the various temples of Khajuraho.

These museums and galleries of Madhya Pradesh are indeed a major site for the enthusiasts who want to learn more about ancient, medieval and modern history of Madhya Pradesh.

Museums in Madhya Pradesh



Central Museum Bhopal



The Central Museum in Bhopal is considered to be one of the most sought-after tourist hubs that has recently come under the limelight. It has been successful in highlighting the true grace and exuberance of local sculptures and artisans who have dedicated their entire lives to art.

Apart from harboring local antiquities the Central Museum in Bhopal also houses rare artifacts that have descended from all over the state of Madhya Pradesh. The Central Museum in Bhopal came into being in the year of 1949. Since then the sheer virtuosity and versatility in bringing the true and raw talents to the forefront and providing them with a pedestal to spread their work that has been shown by the Central Museum in Bhopal is indeed something to appreciate. The Central Museum at Indore also houses rare European paintings. The Central Museum of Indore is also open to visitors from 10:00 A.M in the morning to 5:00 P.M in the evening in all days except Mondays.

State Museum Dhubela



State Museum Dhubela in Nowganj in Madhya Pradesh is basically an archaeological museum that brings together the best of the urban and the folk traditions of the rich artistic heritage. Though primarily noted for its spectacular collection of sculptures, State Museum of Dhubela also has a great collection of curios, coins, terracotta figures.

Madhya Pradesh is noted for its rich heritage of arts and the crafts. Just as Madhya Pradesh has traditionally been the seat of many a royal dynasties that have enriched its culture with its refinement, it has also been the home of many tribes who have faithfully sustained their traditional lifestyles. Even when the life has seen changes, they faithfully continued with their traditional manners of arts and crafts. Thus, the unique thing about the arts and crafts of Madhya Pradesh is that they include artifacts that have their origin in folk tradition as well as in urban refinement. State Museum Dhubela ensures that all these heritages that are integral to the art and culture of Madhya Pradesh get meticulously show-cased for both connoisseurs, students, scholars and visitors alike. Sculptures have traditionally been the forte of the State Museum Dhubela. Specially the wonderful 'yogini' figures from Gurgi, which dates back to the 10th and 12th century AD and are the greatest attractions.

Birla Museum



Birla Museum, Bhopal is an archaeological museum established in 1971. The Birla Museum of Bhopal preserves the evidences and artifacts right from the prehistorical period. The Birla Museum of Bhopal exhibits the wide variety of aspects that highlights the rich cultural and historical heritage of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Many of the objects preserved in the Birla Museum in Bhopal unravel the tale of the prehistorical age thus giving us a glimpse of the social culture of the primitive men.

In the Birla Museum, Bhopal you will get the opportunity to have a rare glimpse of the tools and implements of the palaeolithic and Neolithic age. Further the scale model of the Bhimbetka rock shelter together with the mysterious wall paintings of the Stone age are wonderfully portrayed in the Birla Museum in Bhopal. You will even see the eye catching stone sculpture, the origin of which dates back from the 7th to 13th century. All the artifacts are culled from the various archaeological sites of the state of Madhya Pradesh. The terracotta objects found in the Birla Museum at Bhopal, belong to the period between 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD. The Bhopal Birla Museum has a good quantity of ancient coins and manuscripts carefully preserved to facilitate the visitors to have a rare glimpse of these valuable documents of the past. The Birla Museum, Bhopal is open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 9 am to 5 pm. The Bhopal Birla Museum remains closed on Mondays and on all government holidays.

Archaeological Museum, Gwalior



The Archaeological Museum, Gwalior is situated ahead of the Hathi pole gate in the magnificent Gwalior fort. The Archaeological Museum, Gwalior was established in the year 1984. There is a large rectangular hall inside the Archaeological Museum, Gwalior. A chamber is linked to the large rectangular hall. Further the two verandas of the Archaeological Museum in Gwalior houses different types of amazing antiques. The origin of the rare and valuable antiquities found in the Archaeological Museum of Gwalior dates back to the 1st century AD. Some of the relics collected in the museum were destroyed by the invaders and Mughals but their form still survives.

Some of the worth seeing exhibits of the Archaeological Museum at Gwalior are as follows:
  • Sculptures from Suhania
  • Statue of Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur
  • Sculptures from Mitawali
  • Statue of the tree goddess and more.
In brief, the statues displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Gwalior are an epitome of perfection. The museum's curator take a good care of the statues and are shown on special request. The other valuable exhibits of the Archaeological Museum in Gwalior are the antiques retrieved from the various archaeological sites near Gwalior. The Gwalior Archaeological Museum's sculptural wealth exhibits the gradual development of art from 1st century BC to 17th century AD in the Indian continent. They are categorized into the following:

Archaeological Museum, Sanchi



The original Archaeological Museum, Sanchi was established on the hilltop of Sanchi by Sir John Marshall, former Director General of ASI in the year 1919. Much later with the additional relics culled from the excavated site of Sanchi, the Archaeological Survey of India moved the valuable evidences to a new building which is the new Archaeological Museum, Sanchi in the year 1966. Archaeological Museum, Sanchi has the main hall with four large galleries. Majority of the artifices exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Sanchi are from Sanchi and very few relics belong to the neighborhood sites of Gulgaon, Gyaraspur,Vidisha and Murelkhurd.

The main entrance to the Archaeological Museum at Sanchi leads to the main hall where the objects are aesthetically displayed. The four galleries of the museum namely Gallery No.1 - 4 with the main hall displays antiques and artifices that belong to the 3rd century BC till the medieval period. All these artifacts of the the Archaeological Museum of Sanchi are culled from the ruins of Sanchi as well as from the neighboring areas. You will be amazed to see the famous Ashokan lion Capital and the four lions seated back to back. The lion capital of Ashokan pillar of the Mauryan Period is the center of attraction to the visitors of the Archaeological Museum in Sanchi. Apart from Ashokan pillar, you will get to see the colossal image of Nagaraja of Sunga period, Dhyani Buddha of Mathura of the 4th century AD, Yakshi belonging to the 1st century BC, Bodhisattva Padmapani of the 5th century AD and the art of Hinayana that depicts Buddha's enlightenment under a Pipal tree which are worth seeing in the Archaeological Museum of Sanchi.

Bharat Bhavan



Being located at Shamla Hills and constructed and contrived under the skilled supervision of the legendary architect, Charles Correa, the Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal is a one of a kind building complex that will surely astonish you. The Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal is in fact an assemblage of mansions concerned with the various aspects of our rich culture and tradition. The Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal was established in the year 1982. The buildings of the Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal are intricately positioned along the stretch of the land that marks the fringe of the emerald blue lake.

The Roopankar is by far the most sought after building in the entire Bharat Bhavan at Bhopal. It is bifurcated into two vestibules. One proudly displays scintillating pieces of modern art whereas its counterpart is vested with folklore and artifacts descending from tribes. It houses over 4000 antiquities that have been procured from different parts of Madhya Pradesh. A cluster of paintings on bitumen paper are truly a delight for the eyes. But the mind-boggling terracotta sculptures and metal items made by the inhabitants of rural settlements like Jhabua, Saraguja and Baster indeed steals the thunder. The Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal welcomes spectators from 10:30 A.M to 5:00 P.M except Sundays and Government holidays.

HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum



The HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum, Bhopal is located in the Jai Vilas Palace of Gwalior. The Bhopal HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum was established in the year 1964. Today the HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum in Bhopal is well maintained by a private trust. It is a multipurpose museum. The HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum of Bhopal preserves the evidences and antiquities of the prehistorical time. The artifacts displayed in the HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum in Bhopal spotlights the rich cultural and historical heritage Madhya Pradesh state. In the HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum, Bhopal you will get the opportunity to have a glimpse of the rare and unique sculptures, ancient coins rare and valuable manuscripts, bronze artifices, weapons belonging to the maharajah and his soldiers and more. There is a rare collection of miniature paintings wonderfully displayed in the galleries of the HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum, Bhopal. The HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum at Bhopal also has a good collection of the art belonging to the Chinese, Japanese and European countries. You will get a chance to see the wonderful Persian carpets, the cut glass and gorgeous crystal ornaments. The HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum, Bhopal also houses stuffed tigers, bric-a-brac and Malabar woodwork as well as the enthralling Madurai woodwork that are worth seeing. The mechanical silver train needed in drinks trolley and musical instruments are exhibited in this museum. You will be amazed to see the gold painted Durbar Hall which is a major attraction of the Bhopal HH Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum, Bhopal.

Rani Durgavati Museum



The Rani Durgavati Museum in Jabalpur is a memorial that was constructed to commemorate Queen Durgavati who is reckoned as a symbol of martyrdom and self-sacrifice. The Rani Durgavati Museum in Jabalpur made its presence felt in the year 1964 to pay homage to this inspiring personality. A sandstone replica of Goddess 'Durga', who is considered to be an epitome of feminine strength inside the museum vividly reflects the valor and pride with which Rani Durgavati performed her courageous deeds. The Rani Durgavati Museum in Jabalpur also comprises of a wing that houses certain artifacts and photos belonging to 'The Father of the Nation', Mahatma Gandhi. The Rani Durgavati Museum in Jabalpur is a spot that is enriched with ancient cultural relics, primitive lettering and many more intriguing articles that will mesmerize you.

Shivpuri Museum



The Shivpuri Museum that lies inside the premises of Madhya Pradesh is conceived as a center par excellence as it houses precious articles that have been bequeathed by the Jain 'Tirthankaras' who belonged to the 10th and 11th century. Jainism is the religion comprising of the prized preachings of the 'Tirthankaras' that had ushered in India by the 6th century. The most significant and sought-after Jain Tirthankara was 'Lord Mahavira' who was also incidentally the ultimate Tirthankara. The main postulates on which the Jain religion laid stern emphasis were complete and sincere spiritual independence and that all forms of life on this earth are God's creations and hence equal in every aspect. Jainism also advocates the theory of non-violence which is the most powerful weapon possessed by an individual. Jainism also professes that the most crucial and vital element in the acquisition of omniscience or Kavala Jnana is undoubtedly self-control and an individual can accomplish 'moksha' or getting acquainted with the reason behind our eternal soul's earthly existence.

State Museum, Bhopal



The State Museum, Bhopal is the treasure house of antiquities such as coins, excavated artifacts like terracotta articles, sculpture, paintings of the most significants historical sites around the region. The State Museum of Bhopal exhibits a splendid collection of the antiques retrieved from various excavated sites of Madhya Pradesh. The State Museum in Bhopal is situated right at the heart of the city. Through its exhibits the State Museum of Bhopal portrays the rich cultural heritage of the state in the distant past. The State Museum, Bhopal is devoted to archeology. Here you will get the opportunity to see the paintings and handicrafts of the tribal communities belonging to Bastar. The State Museum of Bhopal also exhibits the samples of the beautiful carvings of Khajuraho's romantic couples. Apart from this the State Museum at Bhopal harbors 87 Jain bronzes that are retrieved from Dhar, an excavated site of Madhya Pradesh whose origination dated back to the Paramara Dynasty of 12th century.

The State Museum, Bhopal also has paintings from various schools of art and the statues of Shiva, Lakshmi, Brahma, and Vishnu. The paintings belonging to different period, the handicrafts of the tribals, the musical instruments, the figurines and other important artifacts having historical significance are displayed in different departments of the Bhopal State Museum. The various archaeological findings exhibited in the State Museum at Bhopal illustrated the rich cultural history of Madhya Pradesh.

State Museum, Dhubela



State Museum Dhubela in Nowganj in Madhya Pradesh is basically an archaeological museum that brings together the best of the urban and the folk traditions of the rich artistic heritage. Though primarily noted for its spectacular collection of sculptures, State Museum of Dhubela also has a great collection of curios, coins, terracotta figures. Madhya Pradesh is noted for its rich heritage of arts and the crafts. Just as Madhya Pradesh has traditionally been the seat of many a royal dynasties that have enriched its culture with its refinement, it has also been the home of many tribes who have faithfully sustained their traditional lifestyles. Even when the life has seen changes, they faithfully continued with their traditional manners of arts and crafts. Thus, the unique thing about the arts and crafts of Madhya Pradesh is that they include artifacts that have their origin in folk tradition as well as in urban refinement. State Museum Dhubela ensures that all these heritages that are integral to the art and culture of Madhya Pradesh get meticulously show-cased for both connoisseurs, students, scholars and visitors alike. Sculptures have traditionally been the forte of the State Museum Dhubela. Specially the wonderful 'yogini' figures from Gurgi, which dates back to the 10th and 12th century AD and are the greatest attractions. However, State Museum Dhubela also has a great collection of coins, paintings, terracotta works and metalworks. In other words, it successfully showcases both the refined urban and the purity and spontaneity of rural traditions of Madhya Pradesh.

Last Updated on : 15th March 2013