Museums in Karnataka

What information can be gathered from the museums in Karnataka?

The state of Karnataka was ruled by the different dynasties of Chalukyas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagara from time to time. The Mughals as well as the British contributed to the culture and architecture of the state. The complete idea about this rich culture and tradition of this Indian state can be gained from the historical items showcased in the varied museums of the state. The reigns of the state's erstwhile rulers get reflected from the displayed art and artifacts. Those exhibited items even include ancient scriptures and manuscripts.

Which cities of Karnataka house the maximum number of museums?

Bangalore and Mysore, the two popular cities of the state house the maximum number of museums and art galleries.

Kinds of museums are in Karnataka

This state, located in the south western part of the country of India, has got many museums ranging from the general to the specialized ones. The museums of Karnataka can be broadly categorized into the following types:
  • Archeological Museum
  • Art Gallery
  • Aviation Museum
  • Folklore Museum
  • General Museum
  • Government Museum
  • Railway Museum

Different museums in Karnataka

Some of the famous museums and art galleries located in the state are as follows:
  1. Archaeological Museum: This museum in Hampi, the capital of the historical Vijayanagar Empire, is the biggest open-air museum in the world. This archeological museum mainly exhibits the artifacts, inscriptions and sculptures belonging to the period in between 1480 and 1680. Manuscripts, paintings, porcelain artifacts, carpets, coins and armory are displayed there. Stone sculpture as well as Arabic, Devanagari, Kannada and Persian inscriptions are even a part of the exhibition. The contact details of this museum are given below:

    • Archaeological Museum
      Kamalapur, Hampi, Bellary - 583 221
      Karnataka, India.
      Tel: + 91 - 08394 - 241561
      Opening Hours: Everyday except Friday from 10 am to 5 pm.

  2. Cubbon's Park Museum: Situated within the famous Cubbon's Park in the city of Bangalore, this is a government museum. Based in a red colored building, it is a doll's museum. A public library is located within its proximity inside the park premises.

  3. Folklore Museum:The Folklore Museum or Janapada Museum situated in the Manasagangothri Campus of the University of Mysore, showcases folk crafts and arts of the state. Established in 1968, this museum displays varied kinds of folk items like Kathakali costumes, masks, puppets, sawdust and leather dolls, ink crafts, musical instruments, ceremonial headwear as well as figures of the folk deities, kings, queens, soldiers and many more. Following are the contact details of this museum:

    L Aerospace Museum: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Aerospace Museum, based in Bangalore was built in 2001. This is the 1st aerospace museum of India. This museum narrates the growth of the aviation industry of the nation. Varied kinds of helicopters, aircrafts, flight simulators, models of aircraft engine and a mock tower of air traffic control are even exhibited there.

  4. Hastha Shilpa Heritage Village: Located in Manipal, this village is still in its construction phase. Spread over a land of 6 acres, this village is supposed to house 8 museums displaying the paintings, arts, crafts and textiles of the area. The galleries of this village will portray the works and life of the district's cultural luminaries. The contact address of this village is as follows:

    • The Heritage Village
      Manipal, Udupi - 576 119
      Karnataka, India.
      Tel: + 91 - 0820 - 2572061

  5. Indira Gandhi Manav Sangrahalaya: Aiming at showcasing the art, culture and tradition of India, this museum is ranked as a national museum. Situated in Mysore, it exhibits handicrafts of the primitive and present time, Gujarat embroidery works, Rajasthan terracotta works and many more. This museum can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday in between 10 am and 5.30 pm. There is no entry fee to visit this museum.

  6. Janapada Loka: Janapada Loka, on the Mysore Highweay, is a treasure-trove of the folk heritage of the state. Sprawled over an area of 15 acres, it houses a museum along with a studio and an open-air theatre. 5000 artifacts exhibited in the museum reflect the art and life of rural and tribal folks of the state. Those displayed items include their household gadgets, dolls, masks, shadow puppets, weapons and varied implements for hunting, fishing and agriculture. Let us have a quick look on the below mentioned contact details of the place:

    • Janapada Loka
      Bangalore - Mysore Road
      Ramnagara, Bangalore - 571 511
      Karnataka, India.
      Tel: + 91 - 080 - 27201143
      Opening Hours: Everyday except Tuesday from 9 am to 1 pm and 2:30 pm
      to 5:30 pm.

  7. Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery: This art gallery is a part of the renowned Jaganmohan Palace located in the city of Mysore. Being an art gallery, it houses the art and crafts of the state. Apart from showcasing an exclusive collection of antique furniture, ceramics, ivory, sandalwood, stone and musical instruments belonging to the bygone era, this gallery even displays the traditional gold leaf paintings of Mysore. Paintings of famous artists like Roerich and Ravi Varma are exhibited there as well. A visitor is allowed to enter the gallery everyday from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm with an entry fee of INR. 20 for an adult and INR. 10 for a child. More information can be gathered by calling the number + 91 - 0821 - 2423693.

  8. Keladi Museum: This museum houses copper inscriptions, coins, palm leaf inscriptions and other antiques belonging to the Keladi period. Idols of the Chalukya and Hoysala dating back to early 16th century and 18th century are even found there. The museum remains open from Monday to Friday (9 am to 5 pm). To know more, you can call them at + 91 - 08183 - 260140.

  9. Manjusha Museum: Located in Dharmasthala, Manjusha Museum is known for housing palm leaf scripts, silver jewelry, bronze bells, spectacles, sewing machines, cameras and typewriters. The contact information of this museum is provided below:

    • Manjusha Museum
      Dharmasthala - 574 216
      Karnataka, India.
      Tel: + 91 - 08256 - 277116
      Opening Hours: Everyday from 6.30 am to 1 pm and 7 pm to 8 pm.

  10. Rail Museum: This impressive museum of Mysore is based behind the city's railway station. Being a museum dedicated to railways, it houses priceless coaches and locomotives as well as photographs and paintings narrating the history of Indian Railways. Regional Museum of Natural History: Located near the Karanji Lake in Mysore, this museum is the location of varied kinds of exhibitions held on animals, plants and geology of southern India. This government museum was founded on 20th May, 1995. Apart from emphasizing on ecological interrelationship between animals and plants, conservation of natural resources etc., this museum even works on promotion of environmental awareness through extracurricular activities in schools. The place provides special facilities to students who are visually challenged so that they can feel the animals during the exhibitions.

  11. Sculpture Gallery: This gallery, situated in Badami, houses a unique collection from Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal. The gallery gates have got steps leading to Lord Shiva's fort temples. The contact details of the Sculpture Gallery is Badami is as follows:

    • Sculpture Gallery
      Badami, Bagalkot - 587 201
      Karnataka, India.
      Tel: + 91 - 08357 - 220157
      Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm.

  12. Visveswaraya Industrial and Technological Museum: Located in the city of Bangalore, this museum was built to commemorate Sir M. Visveswaraya, who was modern Karnataka's architect. Besides portraying the history of the country's technological development, this museum is home to a number of technical inventions. This museum remain open to all daily from 10 am to 6 pm. It remains closed on 26th January (Indian Republic Day) and 15th August (Indian Independence Day) though.

    Some of the other museums located in the state of Karnataka are as follows:
    • Art Gallery of Sriranga Ranga Mahiti & Samshodana Kendra
    • Bendre Bhavana
    • Kavishaila Museum
    • Melody World Wax Museum
    • Rangayana Museum
    • Shashwati Museum
    • Tipu Sultan Museum
    • Vijayanath Shenoy Museum

Last Updated on : 27 June 2013