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Museums of Delhi

National Rail Museum

National Rail Museum, situated in New Delhi, is a must-visit for those who love locomotives. There are various models of train, engines and coaches in the museum. It also preserves the model of India's very first train, a steam engine that made its journey from Mumbai to Thane in 1853. There are a number of locomotives displayed in the open, which are simply lovable. The museum, sprawling across 10 acres of land, is a storehouse of information on the 150-yr old history of railways in India. Children love the ride in the toy train on the miniature rail track around the museum. The highlight of the museum is the Fairy Queen built in 1855, which is the best-preserved locomotive of its times.

Some of the prized possessions of the museum are the vintage displays, including the still-working oldest locomotive in the world. Besides this, there is the Viceregal Dining Car that was built in 1889. The museum also possesses the lavish royal coaches of the Prince of Wales Saloon built in 1875, Maharaja of Mysore's Saloon built in 1899 and the Maharaja of Baroda's Saloon built in 1886. These saloons that were built specially for the imperial personages display elaborate interior design befitting the grandeur of the sovereigns. These coaches are unique in the world and nothing can match up to their splendor.

The National Museum, New Delhi

The National Museum in New Delhi is the largest museum in India. It holds variety of articles ranging from pre-historic era to modern works of art. It is run by the Ministry of Culture, part of the Government of India. The museum is situation on the corner of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road.

The museum has in its possession over 200,000 works of art, of both Indian and foreign origin, covering more than 5,000 years of Indian cultural heritage. Its rich holdings of various creative traditions and disciplines which represents a unity amidst diversity, an unmatched blend of the past with the present and strong perspective for the future, brings history to life. The collections cover archaeology, arms, armour, decorative arts, jewellery, manuscripts, paintings, etc.

Gandhi Muesum

The origin of this Museum goes back to the period soon after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on the fateful evening of January 30, 1948, when the slow process of scouting for, collecting and preserving the personal relics, manuscripts, books, journals and documents, photographic and audio-visual material, all that could go into a Museum on the life, philosophy and work of Gandhiji--began in an unostentatious way in Mumbai.

Later the work was shifted to Delhi and in early 1951 the nucleus of a Museum on Gandhiji was set up in the Government hutments adjoining Kota House. Later still, in mid-1957, it was shifted to the picturesque old mansion at 5, Mansingh Road.

It was finally brought to its present new and permanent home, most appropriately built opposite the SAMADHI of Mahatma Gandhi - free India's most revered place of pilgrimage-at Rajghat, New Delhi, in 1959.

Gandhi Smiriti Museum

Location: No. 5, Tees January Marg, New Delhi. A collection of memorabilia of Mahatma Gandhi, including an exhibition of dolls, shown important landmarks in Gandhiji's life, books and cassettes.

Shankar’s International Dolls Museum

International Dolls Museum is situated on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi. It was setup by K. Shankar Pillai, a political cartoonist. The Museum displays a huge collection of almost 6000 dolls collected from as many as 85 countries. Almost one third of the collection of the Delhi Doll Museum is assembled from different parts of the country. The dolls are even dressed up in the traditional costumes of the country or the area to which they belong.

The Museum is divided into two equal halves. The two sections have over 160 glass cases, 1,000-foot (300 m) long, mounted on the walls. One section has exhibits from Europe, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Common Wealth of Independent States and the other from Asian countries, the Middle East, Africa and India. The making of dolls at the workshop can be seen and one can buy some from the Doll Designing Center in the museum.

Nehru Museum & Planetarium

Nehru Museum is situated on the Teen Murti Marg near Chanakyapuri in the New Delhi. This museum was once the official residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces, which was converted in to the official residence of the first Indian Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. After the sad demise of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, it was converted into a museum and a library, dedicated to Panditji. It exhibits the photographs and newspaper clippings, which give a fascinating insight into the history of the independence movement. The museum therefore revolves around the life and works of Nehru, especially those objects relating to the freedom struggle.

Jawahar Jyoti is an endless flame that keeps burning day and night in memory of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The front lawn of the museum houses a monumental granite rock inscribed with short extracts from the destiny speech delivered by Nehru in the midnight session of the Indian Constituent Assembly. The Nehru library boasts of books on religion, culture, sociology, economics, politics and development in India. Also included in the collection are pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, research material, rare journals, etc. There is also an admirable collection of manuscripts, consisting of institutional records and papers and correspondence of individuals, both in the museum as well as the library. On the formal grounds of the Teen Murti House is situated the Nehru Planetarium. Here, you will get to know about the Space Program of India, the Universe and even the Capsule that took Rakesh Sharma to space. Also, astronomy shows are daily organized at this planetarium, with special programs for school children.
Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum

The Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum is housed in the former residence of Indira Gandhi. Exhibits include photographs documenting her life from her childhood to time as Prime Minister, her personal belongings such as the sari she was wearing at the time of her assassination, news clippings and letters.

An enclosed garden with mature trees and flowering plants surrounds the building. Indira Gandhi governed India for almost 20 years until her own Sikh bodyguards assassinated her in 1984 as she walked through her garden. The pathway is now a memorial with the spot where she collapsed marked with clear glass.

Indian Air Force Museum

A unique experience for an enthusiast of aviation in India would be to pay a visit to the Indian Air Force Museum at Palam. Situated on the outer suburbs of New Delhi, The capital of the Indian Republic, the Museum is quite a distance by road from the centre of the city. But a visit to it is well worth the effort one puts in reaching it.
The only one of its kind in India till the recent unveiling of the Naval Air Museum in Goa, the IAF Museum offers an insight not only into the history of the Indian Air Force but a complete picture of Military aviation in India. Starting from the initial days when Indian aviators flew for the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War, right up to the days of the Kargil Operations. The visitor is regaled with pictures, mementoes, souvenirs, models, and the actual aircraft themselves.
The Museum consists of an Indoor Gallery comprising of the pictorial history of the Indian Air Force, also holding showcases of memorabilia, uniforms, personal weapons etc of different periods. An adjoining hangar gives the visitor the delight of looking at the actual aircraft of different periods. Not only aircraft but also equipment like Ordnance, Anti Aircraft Guns, Vehicles and other assorted items. Some aircraft too large to be accommodated in the hangar are displayed on the apron outside. The Outdoor Gallery also offers War trophies, Radar Equipment and  Captured Enemy Vehicles.
Off limits to the regular visitor is the Vintage Aircraft Flight, which services and strives to maintain some rare examples of aircraft in airworthy conditions. Strapped of funds, the personnel of IAF Vintage Aircraft Flight do their best to keep these aircraft flying fit. Also off limits to the regular visitor is the Transport Aircraft which due to the lack of hangar space are stationed outside the Museum's limits in the main apron of Palam Air Station itself. Being an operational Air Force station, Visitors do not get a glimpse of these magnificent giants except on the Air Force Day every year when it is thrown open to all.
For those willing to take a part of history with them to home, the Museum has a small souvenirs corner where the visitor can get to buy Souvenir T-Shirts, Key Chains, Postal Covers, Bottle Openers and even Chinaware!

Crafts Museum

The Crafts Museum is situated at Pragati Maidan area of New Delhi. It displays Indian handicrafts and offers first-hand experience of craftsmen at work. Some of the most rare and exquisite pieces of art and craft, collected selectively from all over India, are the prized possessions of the museum. Established in 1956 with an aim to showcase and promote the works of native artisans, it had over 20,000 objects on display by early 1980s. The distinctive architectural display of Indian villages and authentically constructed mud huts, adorned with folk art and tribal exhibits, such as woodcarvings, paintings, paper-mache and embroidery, attract the tourists very much. 

One can even see the full-sized wooden haveli from Gujarat at the museum. The Crafts Museum Shop in the complex is also worth visiting. The museum has been subdivided into several specialized galleries, including the Tribal and Rural Craft Gallery, Gallery of Courtly Crafts, Textile Gallery and Gallery of Popular Culture. There is a reference section too, which is of great help to the scholars, designers and crafts persons. The live demonstrations of producing and making of folk arts and crafts are amazing. Interested people can also buy souvenirs, such as the ritual objects, ornaments, rugs, shawls and books, either from the craftsmen or from the museum.

Indian War Memorial Museum, Red Fort (New Delhi)

This museum was set up as a tribute to the soldiers who had participated in the world war in India or abroad on behalf of the British. Naubat Kahana or Naqqar Khana (Musical house) of the Red Fort was chosen to accommodate the museum in its first and second floors. The museum is approachable from the north and south of the building facing east.
The introductory gallery comprises diorama showing the battle of Panipat with the army of Babur and Ibrahim Lodi standing opposite each other. The other displayed objects are arrows, swords, khukris, revolvers, machine guns, shells etc. Variety of daggers with ivory and inscribed hilt, chest armour, small weapons like gupti, battle axes are also exhibited in the gallery. Helmets, armours, different types of swords, daggers etc are displayed in Gallery No. 2 and 3. Bomb fuses, shells, models of pistols, bullets, gun powder flasks on display gives vivid picture of the arms and ammunition used during the First World War.
The last two galleries show the impact of European industrialization over the weapons and communication since radars, telephone, telegraph, signal lamps, guns with periscope, trench periscope etc were introduced during the war. Various types of badges, ribbons, uniform of Turkish and New Zealand army officers, and flags are also put on display. Model of army transport cart and railway goods track, model of Baghdad Arab port and Basra dockyard exhibited in the museum attract the attention of the visitors. Another attraction of the gallery is the complete dress of Maharaja Jodhpur. His Highness Pratap Singh including kurta (long shirt), belt, trouser, turban with zari work, shoes and inscribed sword with sheath.

Archaeological Museum, Purana Qila (New Delhi)

The Archaeological site museum at Purana Qila is located inside the fort and to the right of the main entrance. 
The excavations at Purana Qila were carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1955 and again from 1969 to 1973. The exhibits in this museum are largely based on the excavated materials. These excavations have revealed evidence of earliest settlement at this site datable to around 1000 BC, represented by Painted Grey ware and with a continuous cultural sequence from Mauryan to Mughal through Sunga, Kushana, Gupta, Rajput and Sultanate periods.
In the site museum, various objects and pottery recovered during the excavations from the stratas of different periods has been put on display. The museum also has exhibits of antiquities that have been recovered from various parts of Delhi.
National Museum of Natural History

A small, but well documented, museum, known as the National Museum of Natural History, is the best place to view the varied flora and fauna of India. It is situated in FICCI building at Barakhambha road in New Delhi. It was opened for the people on 5th June 1978. The museum was the brain child of former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. There is a Discovery and Activity Room for kids, where Children can participate in creative activities, such as animal modeling. It is maintained by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, with an aim to promote environmental education and create awareness among the people. 

The museum boasts of several specialized galleries that have been designed for different target groups. There are four main exhibit galleries, namely, The Introduction of Natural History, Nature's Network Ecology and Conservation and Cell - The Basic Unit of Life. The National Museum of Natural History also has a Bio-Science Computer Room, an Activity Room and a Mobile Museum. There is a daily film show at the museum, between 11.30 am to 3.30 pm. Regular lectures and exhibitions are also organized here from time to time.
History Museum remains closed on Saturday

National Gallery of Modern Art

The National Gallery of Modern Art was established in the year 1954 by, the then Vice President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. The best place to see Indian contemporary art, this museum is situated at Jaipur House of New Delhi. The royal building of the museum was formerly the residence of erstwhile Maharajas of Jaipur. It houses a splendid collection of paintings, some of which are as old as 150 years! The painting treasure housed here includes the 19th and early-20th century paintings of British artists, Thomas Daniell, and his nephew, William.

Sanskriti Museum

Sanskriti Museum situated in the outskirts of Delhi is broadly categorized into two parts - Sanskriti Museum of Indian Terracotta and Sanskriti Museum of Everyday Art. The Sanskriti Museum of Terracotta houses creative earthen objects made by some of the finest crafts persons, hailing from different parts of India, using their distinctive traditions and techniques. The well-documented display of terracotta crafts is complemented by the residential facilities and working space for crafts persons, where one can see them at work. It exhibits over 150 terracotta items collected from all over the nation. 

There is a gallery in the museum which showcases the history of terracotta art in India. The traditional terracotta art is illustrated with the help of photographs. On the other hand, Sanskriti Museum of Everyday Art is situated in the Sanakriti Kendra. The museum was set up to preserve the age-old traditions of India. It has functional items of everyday use, like jars, combs, mirrors, toys and kitchen utensils, on its display. O.P. Jain collected these exquisitely crafted items. These items are collected, primarily for research purpose. Scholars can also interact with artists at the Sanskriti Kendra.

Tibet House Museum

Situated in the capital city of India, New Delhi, the Tibet House is an excellent resource centre offering glimpses of Tibetan history. It is located in the institutional area of Lodhi road. The Museum of Tibet house, houses a collection of Tibetan artifacts brought to India by Dalai Lama, when he fled from there. The prized possessions of this museum include the rare 15th century 'Tankhas', the painted scrolls depicting the life story of Buddha. 

Other worth watching items are beautiful Buddha figurines, old currency notes, musical instruments, objects of prayer and antique jewelry. The Tibet House museum also houses a library with books on history and culture of Tibet. One can also buy Tibetan handicrafts, clothes, jewelry and curios from the shops located in the complex. The more inquisitive can also join the informative lectures and discussions conducted here on a regular basis.

Sangeet Natak Akademi

Sangeet Natak Akademi, situated in New Delhi, is one of the premier institutions of dance, music and performing arts of India. It boasts of a large audio-visual archive. Every year, this autonomous organization, which is funded by the Government, bestows honors on the outstanding artists in the field of performing arts. It also arranges performances by renowned veterans as well as young talented artists. 

Sangeet Natak Academy also runs training programs and awards scholarships to the deserving artists. The gallery in its resource center, along with its museum, displays a splendid collection of several types of Indian folk and classical musical instruments. It also exhibits elaborate masks and costumes used by the performers. The library has a collection of some rare and precious volumes that are not easily obtained elsewhere.

National Science Museum

National Science Centre Museum is located at Pragati Maidan area of New Delhi. Designed specially for kids, the National Science Centre Museum has a large collection of working science models to educate children about the scientific facts. It is an initiative by the government to tell the children how things work and to awaken their curiosity to know more. A trip to this museum can be both educational and recreational at the same time. The National Science Centre Museum of Delhi is one of the largest science centers in India. It was developed with an aim to make science interesting and exciting for students. 

There are a number of galleries in the museum, based on different themes and containing varied displays. The displays in the museum are based on various theories and laws of science. Children can understand the nitty-gritty of science by demonstrating them practically. The models displayed at Human Biology gallery are very intriguing. The most popular spot in the museum is the 'Dinosaur's Gallery' of Animals of Mesozoic era. Children hover around this place in huge numbers. Other displays here, inform about India's contribution to science and mathematics, about Nobel Prize winners and eminent Indian personalities of the field.

Ghalib Acadmy & Library

The museum is dedicated to the famous poet Mirza Ghalib and has on display a statue, photographs, books and important documents of his time. The library contains a collection of his poems and those of other contemporary poets.

National Police Museum

Location: Block No-4, CGO complex, Lodi Road,  New Delhi. This museum takes us into the world of thrill and sensation as museum contains several thought provoking items all related to police Crime & Criminals, from the ancient to the modern times. Exhibition acquired from different states and central police organizations both of Indian and Foreign origin. Photography is allowed with permission. Museum has no admission fees.

Malliach Memorial Theater Craft Museum

Location: No. 5, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi. Collection of theatre crafts from all over the country. Rare collection of puppets and masks. Ornaments crafted from mental, wood, horn pitch and shells and. A production centre which recreates old designs and theatre craft objects.

National Children Museum

Location: 1 Kotla Road, Near I.T.O., New Delhi. Attractions: Enhancing creativity among children. Institution for enhancing creativity among children. It holds regular classes and workshops on performing & creative arts. 
 * Mobile Planetarium 
 * Mini zoo 
 * Aquarium

National Philatelic Museum

Location: Dak Bhawan, Sardar Patel Chowk, Sansad Marg, New Delhi. Rare stamps, first day covers & special cancellations are display at the museum. Counter for sale of stamps from all over the world.