On a quick visit to Nagpur I visited the Nagpur Central Museum, which is one of the most interesting places the city has to offer to a curious visitor. Generally speaking, I try to visit a museum or two in every city I set my foot on, whether it’s a large and spacious establishment with countless galleries or a tiny and quirky place that offers you a one-of-the-kind experience.
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All in all, the Nagpur Central Museum didn’t disappoint, and it was a rather enjoyable visit. Established more than 150 years ago (in 1862, to be precise), this museum is one of the oldest museums in India. It was founded under the instruction of Sir Richard Temple who held the position of Nagpur’s Chief Commissioner at that time. He took a great interest in gathering a decent collection of exhibits for the newly open museum, and not only donated his own rare possessions, but also encouraged the local royal families and government officials to give away their precious artefacts as well.
Galleries of the museum
The museum is hosted in a beautiful building constructed according to the rules of colonial architectural style. It’s a one-storey structure with long corridors surrounding lawns with open-air exhibitions. Spread across 8.000 square feet, the Nagpur Central Museum comprises the following galleries:
Natural History Gallery
Mammal, Avian and Reptile gallery
Stone Sculpture Gallery
Tribal Art and Culture Gallery
Arms and Weapons Gallery
Art and Craft Gallery
Nagpur Heritage Gallery
There are lots of unique exhibits that would keep one’s interest for hours on end. You’ll find a vast array of sculptures, ancient inscriptions, paintings, Mughal and British weaponry, coins and pre-historic findings in the galleries of the museum. There were hardly any visitors, and I enjoyed a peaceful atmosphere of this place. I could have easily spent two or three hours in the museum, but my companion was in a hurry, and I had to tame my curiosity and give priority to sections I found the most appealing. As I’ve seen plenty of stone sculptures, coins, antiquities, and ancient arms and armours in other museums of India, my attention was drawn to the tribal art and culture exhibits. There was a rich collection of day-to-day objects, musical instruments, tools, clothes and jewellery used by tribal nations in central India. It’s amazing to think how different their life was from ours, and still is even in the world of today.
The museum was reasonably maintained and well equipped: there were interactive monitors in front of many exhibits providing detailed information about things on display in two languages – Marathi and English.
Nagpur Central Museum most notable exhibits
Some of the most notable exhibits in the Nagpur Central Museum include dinosaurs’ fossils, found in Madhya Pradesh in the beginning of the 20th century. Jainosaurus’ right hind foot, exhibited in the Natural History section, is about 67.5 million years old.
There is also a scull of Elephas Namadicus, a prehistoric elephant species that became extinct around fifteen thousand years ago.
One can also see some beautifully preserved statues, including the 11th century Lord Vishnu statue, excavated in Seoni in Madhya Pradesh, and the 1st century Lord Buddha statue, sourced from Pakistan.
Nagpur Central Museum Photos
~ Nagpur is fairly easy to reach: it’s only a night train journey away from Mumbai. There is also an international airport 8 km from the city, which is used for both domestic and international flights.
~ The Nagpur Central Museum address:
Wardha Rd, near the RBI square, Civil Lines, Nagpur, Maharashtra 440001
10:00 PM to 05:00 PM, Tueasday to Sunday
The museum is closed on Monday
~ Don’t hesitate to bring kids to the museum – they’ll love the Natural History section.
~ Brochures in Marathi and English are available on demand.
~ Photography without flash is allowed, just make sure to make an entry in a register at the counter.
~ The ticket price is merely Rs 10.
~ There is also a souvenir shop in the museum where one can buy some cute souvenirs like coffee mugs, key-chains, water bottles, statues, books, and so on.
~ There are some nice refreshments available in the museum’s cafe.
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