For those with a penchant for museums, Bangalore has a collection of them. Admire the surreal paintings of yesteryear Bangalore or learn the principles of electronics or astronomy. Read on.
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1. Government Museum and Venkatappa Art Gallery
Situated in the verdant Cubbon Park, the Government Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country. Established in 1865, its main attractions are stone age relics from Mohenjodaro period. The museum also houses sculptures from Hoysala, Chola and Kadamba reigns that ruled over the state. Other artefacts are terracotta works from Bengal, water colours of old Bangalore and some fine wood carvings. The museum is poorly maintained and the exhibits are not presented well, which is a pity because many of the exhibits are rare and worth preserving. It is worthwhile to visit the Venkatappa Art Gallery next door and enjoy some good watercolour landscape paintings.
Cubbon Park, Kasturba Road. The museum is open from 10 am-5pm on all days except Monday, second Saturday and Government holidays.
2. Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Hall
If you take a left at the busy Hudson circle and enter Cubbon park, a long leafy avenue leads you to a beautiful stone structure in red hue. The building was constructed in 1914 to commemorate the progressive and longest serving Dewan of Mysore State, Sri Sheshadri Iyer (1883-1901). It is now the State’s Central Library. It holds a great collection of reference books and was awarded the prestigious Rajaram Mohan Roy Award in 2000 as the best State Central Library in India. Lord Curzon, credited with building Calcutta’s famous Victoria Memorial Hall, was instrumental in building the Sheshadri hall.
Did you know?
The building was a posthumous compliment to the Dewan and such was Lord Curzon’s admiration that he made a personal contribution of Rs 500/- towards its construction.
Cubbon Park, Kasturba Road. Entrance to the library is free.
3. Visveswaraya Museum
Situated next to the Government Museum, facing Kasturba road, this museum is actually a science and technology centre. It has stationary and interactive exhibits. From the engines of yore that explain precision of mechanics to the ‘Electro Technic gallery’ that is based on principles of electronics, the interactive exhibits are both fun and informative. In 2007, a new gallery targeted at children was opened. The gallery houses a giant piano to teach acoustics, a virtual game area to play virtual musical instruments and many other exhibits that target the young inquisitive minds.
Kasturba Road. The museum is open from 10am-6pm on all days.
4. Nehru Planetarium
Most kids who went to school in Bangalore would have visited this planetarium as part of a school science trip. Founded in 1989, the auditorium conducts astronomy shows every day. The Planetarium has a dome with a diameter of 15 meters and has a seating capacity of just over 200. Apart from the daily shows, the planetarium arranges portable telescopes for the public to view special astronomical events such as comets, eclipses etc. An ideal place for the star gazer.
facing Raj Bhavan, on T Chowdiah Road, High Grounds