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Museums of New Delhi
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM (****)
It is one of the best museums in India. The national Museum has a remarkable collection of Indian art and sculptures dating from the prehistoric era through the late medieval period. Relics of the Harappan civilization, paintings, manuscripts and mural paintings from Buddhist shrines in central Asia are on exhibit here. The rich and varies collection is spread over three spacious floors, and at least one day is required to see the exhibits. Tel: 3019272, Timings: Open 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Entry : Rs 5.
The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
It is one of India's best maintained museums, and is devoted exclusively to Indian painting and sculpture of the post 1857 era. Most tourists, both domestic and foreign, tend to miss a very important and significant aspect of present day Indian life - contemporary art.
Jaipur House has a dome similar to that of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with a butterfly shaped building plan. The gardens around the Jaipur Palace buildings are manicured and well tended. It is a joy to walk in this garden on a winter's morning, when all the roses are in full bloom.
The National Gallery extends over two floors. The first floor is reached by a staircase near the entrance doorway. Among the paintings and prints, works by Hodges and Daniell (uncle and nephew) are of great importance.
Rail transport museum (****)
This impact but informative museum displays around 30 vintage locomotives, some interesting old carriages and a toy train for a joy ride. The highlight of the museum is the oldest working locomotive in the world, the Viceregal Dinning car (1889), the Prince of Wales Saloon (1876) and various oodities such as the skull of an elephant that charged a train in 1894, and lost. Chanakyapuri Tel:6881816, Timings: October to March, 9.30 a.m to 5.00p.m. April to September, 9.30 a.m to 7 p.m. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Entry fee: Adults Rs 10, children Rs 2.
THE NEHRU MEMORIAL MUSEUM
This elegant colonial building was once the official residence of the British commander-in-chief of the Indian army and is a memorial to Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru was India’s first Prime minister who lived in his building for sixteen years. His life is depicted using rare photographs from his family album. Memorabilia and personal possessions of Nehru are also displayed here. Tel.3016734, Timings: 9.30 a.m to 4.45 p.m. Closed on Mondays and public holidays Entry: Free.
THE GANDHI MEMORIAL MUSEUM (RAJ GHAT AND THE GANDHI SMRITI MUSEUM)
There are two museums and monument at Rajghat where Gandhi was cremated. The museum has a large collection of photographs on Gandhi’s life and a few of his personal belongings. The life of Gandhi has been illustrates in an unusual way in these museums by using a series of small dolls portraying the major events in his life. Tel: 3012834, Timings: 10.00 a.m to 5.30 p.m. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Entry: Free.
This house contains ceremonial items from Tibet when the Dalai Lama fled following the Chinese occupation. There are also many Tibetan handicrafts on display. Entry fee: Adults Rs.10, Children Rs 5.
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM AT THE RED FORT
This museum features objects belonging to the Mughal period. Documents, royal decrees carrying stamps and signatures of the emperors along with maps, engraving and paintings are popular exhibits.
Shankar's International dolls museum
This museum houses 6500 dolls from 85 countries. There is also a section that comprises of five hundred dolls dressed in costumes worn all over the country. Tel: 3316970-74, Timings: 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Closed on Mondays and public holidays.Entry : Rs 10 ,no photography.
THE CRAFTS MUSEUM AT PRAGATI MAIDAN
This is an open-air museum where craftsmen from different parts of India exhibit their trade. Designed by Charles Correa, the museum has an impressive collection of folk and tribal arts, crafts and textiles, There is also a village complex where one can study the architecture of village houses.
It has a collection of traditional stalls displaying various crafts such as textiles, woodwork and ceramics. There's a fantastic museum with several well kept galleries of old wooden animals, string puppets, masks, paintings, tribal objects and terracotta figures. On site is a high quality crafts shop.
Tel: 337187, Timings: 10.00 am to 5.30 pm. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Entry : Free. Permission is required for photography.
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
The Museum has a large collection of flora and fauna of the country. There are also regular film shows and illustrated lectures on wildlife and conservation of children. Tel : 3314849.
Indira Gandhi Museum
The former residence of Indira Gandhi has converted into a museum (Admission free, Monday closed, Timing : 0930 to 1630 h). On show are some of her personal belongings, including the sari (with blood stains) she was wearing at the time of her assassination in 1984, as well as newspapaer clippings, letters and photos.
There is an enclosed pathway in the garden where Indira Gandhi walked moments before she was shot by two of her own Sikh bodyguards.