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The National Museum in New Delhi is one of
the largest museums in India. It holds variety of
articles ranging from pre-historic era to modern
works of art .It was established on August 15
1949 in the Darbar Hall of Rastrapati bhavan.
It functions under the Ministry of Culture,
Government of India. The museum is situated on
the corner of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road.
Today the national museum has in its possession over
2,06,000 works of exquisite art, both of Indian and foreign origin
covering more then 5000 years of our cultural heritage.
Having a wide range of masterpieces of sculptural art in such medium
: stone, terracotta, stucco, bronze gold, silver, ivory, bone
,spanning a period of over two millenniums, from the 3rdcentury
BC to the 19th century AD, one of the longest in the history
of world’s art-heritage, the Department of Archaeology is among
the National Museum’s most prestigious collections.
The collection consists broadly of nine thousand six
hundred objects, aesthetic and votive representing different
themes – likeness of royal ladies, singers, dancers, kings,
scenes of court-life and even animal figures representing
aesthetic aspect of art, and myths, legends, narratives or
deity images representing its religious aspect.
The Department has showcased its objects in different
galleries, all on the ground floor. Though scholastic
Approach might always present a different perception, the
objects displayed in each gallery have been properly
classified, the basis being dynastic, stylistic, chronological
Gupta Art Gallery
Early Medieval Gallery
Late Medieval Gallery,
Buddhist Art Gallery
The Maurya-Shunga-Satavahana Gallery houses art
of the period from the 3rd century BC to AD 1st-2nd
century. Though named after a single dynasty, the
Kushana Gallery houses the art of three stylistic
schools, namely, Mathura, Gandhara and Ikshvaku that
flourished in the first three centuries of the Christian era
The gallery of art of the period from the 4th century to 6th century,
widely known as the classical age of Indian art : sculpture and
architecture, has been named as Gupta Art Gallery. The Buddhist
Art Gallery is a thematic gallery showcasing art objects pertaining to
the three major schools of Buddhism – Hinayana, Mahayana and
Vajrayana The gallery has many other masterpieces, especially the
statues of the Buddha.
Buddhist art gallery
This gallery was jointly set up by the
archaeological survey of India and the
national museum. It has a rich collection
of a large number of artifacts from the
sites of Harappan civilization.
The collection includes pottery , seals,
tablets weights and measures, jewellery ,
terracotta figurines , toys ,etc.it also has
copper tolls from harappan sites like
axes, chlsels , knlves etc.
about 3,800 objective has been
displayed in the modernized Harappan
gallery from the NATIONAL MUSEUM
A prestigious collection of
approximately 850 sculptures have
been displayed in the
archaeological galleries on the
ground floor, the rotundas on the
ground, first and second floors and
around the museum building.
The sculptors displayed are mostely
in stone, bronze and terracotta,
dating from 3rd century B.C…,
through the 19th century A.D..,
representing all major regins,
periods and school of art.
Buddhist art is illustrated through 84
exhibits in stone, bronze, terracotta,
stucco,wooden sculpures and painted
scrolls or thankas from Nepal, Tibet
central asia, Myanmar, java and
Cambodia, representing the three
principal Buddhist forms- Hinayana,
Buddha- pada (footprints) from
Nagarjunakonda Distt, Guntur in
Andhra Pradesh and Buddha’s life
scenes from Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh as
well as ritualistic objects from the
trans – Himalsya region .
Decorative Arts gallery
Exquisitely carved three hundred and four artifacts are on display in two galleries
which unfold the material culture of later Mughal period.
Decorated with various ornamental techniques tha hand crafted art object are made
of wood, glass, ceramic, jade’ ivory and different type of metals.
Intricately carved wooden painted peacock, bird shaped silver Huqqa siver perfume
tray bidri candle stand, marble inlayed plate, painted glass boll Buddha’s life
depicted elephant tusk, ivory temple home shrine, jade utensils, ceramic objects,
tiles, chess, chaupar made of ivory and semiprecious stomes are the few important
pieces displayed in galleries.
The national museum has an
appricate collection of manuscraties
in various language and scripts
covering a large number of subject
they are written on different types of
materials such as parchment, birch
bark , palmleaf , cloths , paper ,
Dated manuscripts elaborate indian
history with authoritative authenticity.
All the manuscripts represent various
religion and sects of the indian
subcontinent. The exhibits cover the
period of manuscripts from the 7th
century to the 19th century.
In this gallery 1500 manuscripts are
proposed to be displayed.
The collection of coins in the national
museum is remarkable for its variety,
rarity and antiquity.
The entire history of coinage, starting
from about 6th century B. C. to the
beginning of the 21th century A.D.
A study of these currency reveals how
the indian currency system developed
from cowries shell to the credit card.
The coins are rich and authentic source
of information on various aspect of
ancient, medieval and modern indian