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Home » Places to see in Bangalore » Government Museum

The Government Museum of Bangalore counts amongst the oldest museums in India. It is located at the Kasturba Gandhi Road, quite near to the magnificent Cubbon Park. Colonel Sankey designed the main building of the Government museum and got it constructed in the year 1876. Later, a number of wings were added to the main building. Bangalore Government was opened up for public viewing in the year 1886 only.

The Government Museum of Bangalore
The Government Museum of Bangalore

Government Museum (Bangalore) established in 1865 by L.B. Bowring is one of the oldest museums in India and the second oldest museum in South India. It is now an Archaeological Museum and has a rare collection of archaeological and geological artifacts including old jewellery, sculpture, coins and inscriptions. The museum is also home to the Halmidi inscription, the earliest Kannada inscription ever found (450 AD).

The Government Museum of Bangalore
The Government Museum of Bangalore

The government museum in Bangalore was established on 18 August 1865,by L.B. Bowring, the Chief Commissioner of Mysore State at that time. A formal official notification was issued in the Mysore Government Gazette on 17 April 1866, a copy of which is still preserved in the Karnataka State Archives in Bangalore. The gazette notification officially invited citizens to contribute cultural and natural artifacts to the museum for display.

Bowring established the museum at the advise and counsel of Edward G. Balfour, a medical officer of the Madras Army, transferred to Bangalore from Madras. Balfour suggested setting up a museum similar to the one previously museum established in Madras in the year 1851. Balfour had a collection of zoological and natural specimens to exhibit in the Museum. The Government museum in Bangalore was then known as the Mysore Government Museum.

The Government Museum of Bangalore
The Government Museum of Bangalore

The museum was first established at the Cantonment's jail building. It continued to function there for 13 years until 1878.

The jail building was considered not suitable for a museum and it was decided to construct a special museum building near the Cantonment. The current site of the museum was identified for the new museum. The new museum (the current structure) was planned and built in 1877 by Col. Richard Hieram Sankey, the Chief Engineer of Mysore State at that time.

The museum was popularly known as the tamasha house (entertainment house).

The museum is flanked by the Visvesvaraya Industrial And Technological Museum and the Venkatappa Art gallery. The museum is located centrally on Kasturba road. The museum is built in 1877 in the neoclassical architectural style. It has two porticos on either side, Corinthian columns, circular arches, sloping eaves and prominent sloping parapet walls.

The Government Museum of Bangalore
The Government Museum of Bangalore

The museum has two exhibition floors which are divided into 18 galleries. The galleries cover sections that span sculpture, natural history, geology, art, music and numismatics.

The museum is an Archaeological Museum and has a rare collection of archaeological and geological artifacts including old jewellery, sculpture, coins and inscriptions. The museum has 70 paintings, 84 sculptures, and hundreds of other artifacts, some of which unique to the museum. The museum has sculpture from the Hoysala, Gandhara and Nolamba periods.

Neolithic pottery from excavations carried out at Chandravalli, excavations artifacts from Mohenjodaro, Halebid and Vijayanagar, terracotta from Mathura and weapons from Kodagu. Many relics housed at the museum are as much as 5000 years old. The museum also houses rare paintings of Deccan, Mysore and Tanjore kingdoms are found.

The museum has a model of Srirangapatna, the fort of Tipu Sultan. There is a slab in the museum from Tipu's times that has 12 persian couplets. The museum also showcases various old musical instruments. A Tanjore style framework of 64 Narayanas is a unique piece there.

The priced collections of the Museum include the earliest Kannada inscription- the Halmidi inscription, Begur inscription, Aatakur inscriptional slabs are found in this museum.

The museum saw many visitors in the early part of its history. The average annual footfall was 2.8 lakhs in the 1870s and over 4 lakhs in the early part of the 20th century as per museum records catalogued by the British. According to museum officials, the annual number of visitors is over 90,000 consisting of domestic and international tourists.

The Karnataka State Archaeology Department governs the museum. it comes under the purview of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. The 13th Finance Commission of India has sanctioned 100 crore as a grant to Karnataka for the conservation of monuments and development of museums.

Address

Kasturba road, Bangalore , India

 
 
 
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Tourist Places in Bangalore, Karnataka
 

Bheemeshwari
Sangam
Mekedatu
Nandi Hills
Muddenahalli
Shivanasumadram
Srirangapatna
Kere Thonnur
Mysore
Brindavan Gardens
Nanjangud
Somanathapur
BR Hills
Male Mahadeshwara Betta
Halebid
Sravanabelgola
Belur
Hampi
Anegundi
Dandeli Sanctuary
Kulgi Nature Camp
Shiroli Peak
Nersa
Badami
Pattadakkal
Aihole

 

Dubare
Nisargadhama
Veerabhoomi
Harangi Dam
Kabini
Nagarhole
Kutta
Irpu Falls
Brahmagiri Sanctuary
Siddapur
Gonikoppal
Madikeri
Bhagamandala
Chettalli
Talacauvery
Kakkabe
Karanda
Venur
Udupi
Kaup Beach
St. Mary's Isles
Malpe
Maravanthe
Kollur Shri Mookambika
Ottinane
Kodachadri Hills

Shivgiri Trails
Kemmannagundi
Chikmagalur
Kudremukh
Kalasa
Horanadu
Kukke Subrahmanya
Dharmasthala
Mangalore
Someshwar Beach, Ullal
Surathkal Beach
Tannirbhavi Beach
Honnemardu
Jog Falls
Sagar
Nagavalli
Karkala
Murudeshwar
Bhatkal
Netrani Island
Gokarna
Kumta
Yaana
Devbagh
Forts
Devanahalli Fort
Viduraswatha

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Tourist Places in Bangalore, Karnataka
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