CHENNAI

Museums & Galleries

Museums & Galleries in Chennai

  • Birla PlanetariumGandhi Mandapam Rd (close to Guindy National Park and Anna University), +91 44 24410025, +91 44 24416751, +91 44 24915250, +91 44 24918787. Built in memory of B.M. Birla, the well known industrialist and visionary. Adjoining the planetarium is a Periyar Science and Technology Museum which will be of interest to students and other science scholars. The Science and Technology Centre is open on all days except on national holidays. Program Timing 10:45AM–1:45PM and 3:45PM. English Noon, Tamil 2:30PM. Package cost ₹45, ₹20 for children
  • Government Museum. Pantheon Rd, Egmore. Established in 1857, the Government Museum of Chennai is one of the popular tourist destinations in the city. It is a multi-purpose State Government Museum located in Egmore, which is in the heart of the city, spreading over an area of 16.25 acres of land. Six independent buildings in this Museum campus has 46 galleries. There is an Archaeology Section, Zoology Section, Botany Section, Geology Section, Numismatics Section, Bronze Gallery, Children’s museum, Art gallery and various other interesting sections and galleries. It is considered to be one of the oldest museums of India, since its inception dates back to the Colonial rule. There is history behind the origin of this Museum. In 1846 AD, the Madras Literary Society debated the proposal of establishing a museum in the then Madras. The proposal was approved by the Court of Directors of the East India Company in London. Chennai Government Museum was handed down with a sprawling complex and the presently maintained by the State Government. There are six independent buildings in the Museum campus, which compose of 46 galleries. The Museum was formally inaugurated on December 5, 1896 by the Sir Arthur Eli bank Havelock, the then Governor. He named it after the former Governor, Lord Connenmara. The museum was designed by H. Irvin, the consulting architect of the Government of Madras. The Government Museum has a splendid hall, marvelous reading room and striking Teak wood shelf and stands divided into a number of sections. Note that parts of the museum are often closed. Phone: +91 44 28193238, 9:30AM-5PM except holidays. A free guide service is available at 11AM and 3PM.
  • Integral Coach Factory. The Railway Coach manufacturing unit of Indian Railways, which has a Rail Museum. The Regional Rail Museum is situated near ICF, Perambur, Chennai amidst the New Avadi Road/Anna Nagar Round Tana/ICF Bus Terminus and Villivakkam. Entry ₹10.
  • National Art Gallery+91 44 28193238. The top floor, closed in May 2011, offers additional galleries. 9:30AM-5PM daily except F and national holidays..The building of National Arts Gallery was built in the year 1907. This magnificent red sandstone building was designed by Henry Irwin and built by T. Namberumal Chetty. The building represents a typical Indo-Saracenic structure and was initially famous as Victoria Memorial Hall. Built with sandstone and adorned with motifs, the building bears impressions of Mughal architecture. The structure as well as the gallery collections are key factors responsible for the much credited tourist place. The gallery exhibits medieval handicrafts, sculptures, metal ware and paintings belonging to various schools of art, all from the past. The gallery displays paintings belonging to different schools and eras. The gallery's collections are displayed in four different sections that are: Tanjore Painting Gallery, Decorative Art Gallery, Indian Traditional Art Gallery and Ravi Varma Painting Gallery. The Tanjore paintings on glass are wonderful. The miniature paintings from Rajput and Mughal eras are fascinating too. The handicrafts that are displayed in National Arts Gallery belong to the 11th and 12th century, Indian handicrafts, period.
  • Vivekananda House (Vivekanandar Illam), Triplicane (Located on Marina beach road),  +91 44 28446188, e-mail:. 10AM to 12:15PM and from 3PM to 7:15PM except Wednesdays. A colonial house where Swami Vivekananda stayed after his return from Chicago. It was also the location of the Ramakrishna Math for a decade before the Math was moved to its present location in Mylapore. The house now features a museum, painting gallery, photo gallery, book shop and video show on the life and teaching of Vivekananda. It is maintained by the Ramakrishna Math. Meditation and spirituality classes are arranged regularly at a nominal cost. Entry ₹10, classes charged extra.

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