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Museums in Kolkata


West Bengal has many pioneer museums and prestigious institutions in the state. Some of them are modern while the others are part of the old-heritage time. Following are some of the well-known museums in West Bengal.

Academy of Fine Arts

It has a notable collection of Indian art, paintings, textiles, sculptures, miniature paintings and manuscripts.
City - Kolkata
Genre - Art
Address - 2, Cathedral Road, Kolkata 700071, West Bengal
Timings - Museum: 12 pm to 7 pm daily (Monday closed); Art Galleries: 3 pm to 8 pm daily (closed on national holidays)

Birla Industrial & Technological Museum

It is an excellent place to get hands-on experience of practical science. It boasts of an extensive variety of gallery and design work from basic to advance science.
City - Kolkata
Genre - Science
Address - 19A, Gurusaday Road, Kolkata 700019, West Bengal
Timings - 10 am to 5:30 pm (Monday closed)

Gurusaday Museum

The Museum exhibits rich folk art and crafts of Bengal and has a collection of over two thousand items on display.
City - Kolkata
Genre - Folk
Address - Diamond Harbour Road, Bratacharygram, Joka, Kolkata 700104, West Bengal
Timings - 9.30 am to 6 pm

Indian Museum

The museum exhibits the heritage and culture of India. It comprises of six sections which includes thirty five galleries of cultural and scientific artifacts.
City - Kolkata
Genre - Multiple
Address - 27, Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Park Street area, Kolkata, 700016 West Bengal
Timings - 10 am to 5 pm (March to November); 10 am to 4:30 pm (December to February); Closed on every Monday and National holidays.

The Indian Museum is the oldest and the biggest museum in India. Originally the Indian Museum was a part of the Asiatic Society and opened to public in the year 1875. It is located at the crossing of Park Street and Chowringhee road on 27 Jawaharlal Nehru Road. The museum remains closed on Monday and visiting hours are from 10 am. to 5 pm. The Indian Museum is one of the best museums in Asia. The huge variety of collections astonishes us, which range from sculpture, fossils, meteorites, embryos and skeletons of prehistoric animals. The museum also displays extraordinary paintings and artifacts of both ancient and modern India.

The ash remains of Lord Buddha is one of the valued assets of the Indian Museum. The museum helps students to learn on various subjects namely history, geography, biology, anthropology, etc. The Egyptian mummy is also an interesting exhibit of the museum. There is a gallery that exhibits a marvelous collection of 50,000 coins. The special attractions of the museum include Gandhara art, fossils and skeletons of primitive animals, Kalighat Pal, Tibetan Thankas, and other rare paintings.

The Indian Museum in Kolkata is divided into six parts:
  • Archaeology: The Archaeological Section of the museum exhibits stone-age relics from India and abroad, dating back to the pre-historic times of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, varying from 2500 B.C. to 1500 B.C. Indian musical instruments are exhibited in a special gallery.

  • Art: The Art Section displays paintings of mediaeval India, bidriwares, Tibetan temple banners, metal and wooden sculptures, ivory and bone work, enameled wares, jewelry, silver wares, glass wares, pottery, lacquered toys, crafts of jade and crystals. Textiles from various parts of the India can also be seen here.

  • Zoology: The Zoological Section of the Indian Museum is the largest in India, famous for the numerous specimens of fish, mammals, insects, reptiles and birds.

  • Anthropology: The Anthropological Section comprises of innumerable objects of both tribal and non-tribal peoples of India.

  • Geology: The Geological Section exhibits more than 80,000 specimens of fossils, decorative building stones, meteorites, precious stones, rocks and minerals.

  • Industry (Economic Botany): The Industrial Section has innumerable specimens of Botany bearing upon cottage industry, medicine, agriculture and forestry.

Malda Museum

The museum conserves the anthropological and architectural samples of the region. It showcases ancient sculptures, artifacts, porcelains, inscriptions and other items.
City - English Bazar
Genre - History
Address - Bandh Road, English Bazar, West Bengal
Timings - 10:30 am to 5 pm; Till 2 pm on Wednesday; (Closed on Thursday)

Marble Palace

The Marble Palace exhibits the art forms of European nations. The palace contains numerous objects of art like statues, pictures, oil paintings, etc.
City - Kolkata
Genre - Historic house
Address - 46, Muktaram Babu Street, Kolkata 700007, West Bengal
Timings - 10 am to 4 pm (Closed on Mondays and Thursdays)

Nehru Museum of Science and Technology

The museum provides a historical outlook to the development of Science and Technology via models, experiments, demonstrations, etc.
City - Kharagpur
Genre - Science and Technology
Address - Kharagpur, West Midnapore, West Bengal
Timings - 9:30 am to 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm (Closed on Saturday, Sunday and on all Institute Holidays)

Netaji Bhawan

This is an interesting place which celebrates the life and vision of Subhash Chandra Bose. It has several rooms with many things which have connections with Netaji.
City - Kolkata
Genre - Memorial hall
Address - Lala Lajpat Rai Sarani, near Netaji Bhavan Metro station, Kolkata
Timings - 11 am to 4:15 pm (Tuesday to Sunday)

Rabindra Bharti Museum (Jorasanko Thakurbari)

This museum houses the memories of Rabindra Nath Tagore. It's the ancestral house of the Tagore family and at present a part of the Rabindra Bharati University.
City - Kolkata
Genre - History
Address - 6/4, Dwarakanath Tagore Lane, Kolkata 700007, west Bengal
Timings - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Monday to Friday); 10:00 am to 1:30 pm (on Saturday); Closed on Sunday, Government and University Holidays

Science City Kolkata

Science City comes under the apex body of science museums/centres in India and has two facilities, the Science Centre and the Convention Centre.
City - Kolkata
Genre - Science
Address - J.B.S Haldane Avenue, Kolkata 700046, West Bengal
Timings - Daily from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

The Asiatic Society

The Asiatic Society has a museum of its own which possesses significant collections, inscriptions, sculptures, manuscripts, records, etc.
City - Kolkata
Genre - Social history
Address - 1, Park Street, Kolkata 700016, West Bengal
Timings - Monday to Friday: 10 am to 8 pm; Saturday: 9:45 am to 6:15 pm; (Sundays Closed)

Asutosh Museum of Indian Art

Asutosh Museum of Indian Art was founded in 1937. The Museum derived its name from Asutosh Mookerjee, the renowned educationist. The museum was established by the scholars of Bengal, with the aim to conserve the historical and cultural heritage of West Bengal. You can visit the museum from 10.30 am to 5.00 pm. Asutosh Museum of Indian Art remains closed on Saturdays, Sundays and university holidays.

The main objective for establishing the museum was to collect, preserve and display objects related to Indian culture especially of Eastern India and specifically of West Bengal. It is India's first museum of a University exhibiting some of the extraordinary treasures of Indian art. Apart from displaying various artifacts it organizes culture survey of rural areas and also carries out archaeological excavations at places of historical importance in West Bengal.

The exhibits of Asutosh Museum of Indian Art in Kolkata are from allover India with special emphasis on the culture of Bengal. Some of the interesting collections are the sculptures of Pala and Sena periods made of basalt, blending the striking features of both Hindu and Buddhist styles. The finely carved clay panels, which belong to the temples of Vishnupur area, are the exhibits, which you would love to see. The museum displays illustrated manuscripts like the Kalpasutra of the 16th century from Gujarat and a manuscript of 18th century Ramayana. Exclusive set of patachitras, which are painted scrolls from Bengal, manuscripts on palm leaf, playing cards, ceremonial objects, toys and dolls are some of the other things that you can see here. The textile exhibition includes exquisitely embroidered kanthas from Bengal, exclusive Baluchari saris and the patchwork technique.

If you want to visit the museum, the complete address is as follows:

Centenary Buildings
Calcutta University (West)
College Street,
Kolkata-700 012

Ethnographic Museum

Museums are the popular means to carry on the rich cultural heritage of India. The Ethnographic Museum displays ethnographic specimens dealing with specific cultures. The Cultural Research Institute, under the Government of West Bengal established the Ethnographic Museum in 1955. The museum is closed to the common public on Sundays and holidays and open on weekdays from 1030-1730 hrs, Saturdays from 1030-1400 hrs.

The articles that are displayed in the Ethnographic Museum in Kolkata include hunting tools and equipment, dresses and jewelries, fishing equipment etc. You can see several kinds of utensils, furniture, and articles used for spinning and weaving. These objects reflect on the cultural heritage of different cultures. The exhibits also include articles related to religion and 'magic'.

Ethnographic Museum can be very helpful for students doing their research on anthropology. The photographs and tapes of folk music at the Ethnographic Museum portray the life-style of the Indian tribes. The way of life of different tribes of India can be analyzed very easily by going through these displays. While viewing these articles you can learn about different civilizations.

If you are interested to learn about various cultures and want to visit the Ethnographic Museum of the Cultural Research Institute, here's the complete address for you:

Cultural Research Institute
Tribal Welfare Department
New Secretariat Buildings (1st floor)
1 K. S. Roy Road
Calcutta 700001
West Bengal
India

Crafts Museum

Museums play a significant role in preserving and enriching the culture and heritage of a place. The capital city of Kolkata, known for its rich cultural heritage has several museums, which truly reflects its culture. Tourists from various destinations come here to visit Birla Academy of Art and Culture Museum, Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Crafts Museum, Indian Museum, Nehru Children's Museum, Asutosh Museum of Indian Art, Victoria Memorial, Asiatic Society etc.

Crafts Museum of Kolkata was established in 1950. Crafts Museum exhibits artworks and artifacts; each and every gallery of the museum gives an overwhelming experience in art. The museum displays a huge collection of rural arts and crafts from the different states of India like Gujarat, West Bengal, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Maharashtra, U.P., Haryana, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. Articles made from ivory, and metal are presented here. There's a good library and photographic records in the museum, which throw light on the background of these artworks. Several varieties of textiles from different Indian states and districts are displayed. The Crafts Museum is open to the public on all weekdays from 1000-1700 hrs. Crafts Museum is the best place to visit if you want to enjoy the various traditional Indian textiles, arts and crafts under one roof.

Here's the address of Crafts Museum for your convenience:

9-12, Old Court House Street,
Kolkata- 700 001
West Bengal

Last updated on June 05, 2013