Venue: National Museum, Janpath
Date: May 10, 2015
Ask any Delhiite about National Museum and they would recall visiting this site during school outings. And it is indeed an apt place for this activity. However as an adult one appreciates many more facts about the National Museum.
The National Museum, established just after independence in the year 1949, is one of the oldest museums in India. Even after 65 years the museum has not lost its relevance.
When we visited the museum on a recent weekend to explore its potential as a summer activity, we felt that to do justice, this place cannot be covered in a day.
The Museum was heavily criticized for being outdated. Moreover many of their possessions were kept in storage areas for lack of the display ideas. Recently, in the year 2013, this site was majorly overhauled. Consequently the galleries are better lit, many more displays are open for public viewing and the cafeteria has comfortable sitting arrangements.
Another new initiative is the daily guided tours (twice daily and four times on weekends). Each guided four lasts about 90 minutes.
There after he chronologically took us through Maurya and Gupta era, Buddhist and Jain iconography. After a few more galleries he ended the tour by taking us through the history of coins and the weapons and artillery gallery. The explanation was brief, bereft of too many dry details and thus interesting. We did not realise how more than one and a half hours had passed. The guided tour is perhaps the most impressive addition of the revamp. The museum holds more that 2 lakh objects covering 5000 years of art and culture and without a guide, a visitor is prone to feel lost.
Earphones along with commentaries in different languages (Hindi, English, German, French and Japanese) describing the various displays are available.
It was almost 5’o clock, their closing time and we were still not done. We managed to get just a glimpse and were taken a back at the rich collection of precious ornaments comprising gold, silver and gems. This place could be a source of inspiration for any jewellery designer today.
All the galleries have super strong air conditioning so while the eyes want to rest, the body is not fatigued. Moreover, there are water coolers on very floor and sofas to sit and relax. The museum is open during the weekends (closed on Mondays and public holidays).
They also organise various theme based exhibition details of which can be accessed at the website http://www.nationalmuseumindia.gov.in.
The National Museum is immensely popular with tourists. It is a fantastic summer do for anyone in Delhi