March 19, 2011

Egmore Museum - Chennai, South India

Chennai is one of the most important cities of India and it is also considered as the gateway to South India. Chennai has a lot of tourist sites in and around the city. The tourist sites in Chennai city include temples, churches, malls, British period buildings and zoological park. Chennai Government Museum is one of the unique tourist sites in Chennai city. It is located in the popular Egmore area of Chennai and hence it is also referred as Egmore Museum.

Egmore locality in Chennai city is popular for more than 300 years. The second important railway station of Tamil Nadu is located in Egmore. Egmore, the erstwhile Ezhumbur village, was aquired by the East India Company in 1720 CE. After the sepoy mutiny aka First War of Indian Independence in 1857, the Egmore Museum was constructed. In 1896 the famous Connemara library was constructed within the Egmore Museum complex.

Elephant Skeleton
Chennai Government Museum is one of the oldest and important museums of the entire nation. The museum is well organized and divided into multiple sections such as art, archaeology, anthrapology, zoology, botany, children's museum, etc. The archaeology section is one of the major highlights of the museum. It has around 1500 bronze figures. I am not sure if we can find such a large number of collection of metal idols anywhere else. Some of the figures are very old and belong to 3rd century CE. The bronze figures which range from the period of 3rd century CE to 19th century CE are found in the archaeology section of the museum. There is a separate section for stone inscriptions and sculptures. Some of the beautiful sculptures found in the museum are so rare that they cannot be found in any ancient temple. The sculptures and bronze figures depicting Hindu Gods and Goddesses, Buddha and Jain Tirtangaras are found. This is perhaps the only big site where the architectural marvel of entire South India can be found together, be it Hoysalas, Cholas, Pallavas, Pandyas or Chalukyas.

Museum Main Building
The art section is also very attractive as it displays a lot of famous original paintings. The paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, the paintings of British Governor Generals, Tanjore paintings, Rajput paintings, Oil paintings, water color paintings, etc. are found in the art section of this famous museum. The anthropology section of the museum has a large collection of arms, folk art displays, ethnographic collections, musical instruments, pottery, etc.

The zoological gallery  is another highlight of the museum. This is perhaps the most favorite destination of children in Chennai museum. This section has exhibits pertaining to reptiles, birds, animals and skeleton. The most interesting exhibits are the gigantic skeleton of Indian whale and the skeleton of elephant.

Ancient Bronze idol
In addition to all the above sections, Chennai museum also has Children's section, botanical section and also exhibits coins and stamps. The most popular library of Chennai city, Connemara library, is located within the museum complex. Victoria Hall, one of the heritage sites of British period, is also located within the Egmore museum complex.

When you go to Chennai, never miss this unique place of great collections.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: The Government Museum, Egmore
Site Type: Museum
Location:  Egmore, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of the oldest and biggest museums of India; contains a lot of rare articles in large numbers

Ancient Sculpture
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5 PM; Closed on Fridays and national holidays 
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Egmore Museum is located at a distance of around 1 km from Egmore railway station, the second important railway station of Chennai city. You can easily reach museum by road. City buses are available in this route. Local trains are also available to reach the nearby Egmore railway station.
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city

Victoria Hall

View Larger Map


  1. i found a great and unique travel post on Chennai travel.very informative