Government Museum & National Art Gallery

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Government Museum & National Art Gallery


While in Chennai don’t miss visiting the most interesting Government Museum and National Art Gallery. Located in Egmore, this state government Museum is spread in 16.25 acres of land and has six independent buildings and 46 galleries within its campus. Considered as one of the major museum houses of the Tamil Nadu state the Pantheon complex of this Museum houses the National Art Gallery that preserves the oldest precious memories of this state.

Known as one of the oldest museums in India the Government Museum was built in 1846 AD when the Madras Literary Society debated the proposal of establishing a museum. The proposal was approved by the Court of Directors of the East India Company in London. The Government Museum is presently maintained by the state government. The Museum premises feature a beautiful National Art Gallery.

Also known as Victoria Memorial Hall, this Art Gallery was constructed by T. Namberumal Chetty in 1907 and is an architectural delight. The pink sandstone building of the Gallery has a structure that is inspired from the architectural motifs of the Mughal period.

You simply cannot walk through this building without appreciating the impressive and decorative designs. The National Art Gallery contains various traditions of Indian painting including the Rajput and Mughal schools. The Gallery features 11th and 12th century’s Indian handicrafts, 17th century’s Deccan paintings, 16th to 18th century’s Mughal and Rajasthani paintings and 10th and 13th century’s bronzes.

The Gallery also showcases ancient artifacts/antiquities of various periods and dynasties all under one roof. The Government Museum & National Art Gallery is a must visit for history buffs and art lovers.

Other than the National Art Gallery the Museum also houses various galleries.

Sections & galleries


•South Indian Sculptures Gallery

•North Indian Sculptures Gallery

•Indus Valley Civilisation Gallery

•Memorial Stones and Hero Stones Gallery

•Hindu Sculptures Gallery

•Amaravati Sculptures Gallery

•Jain Sculptures Gallery


•General Zoology Gallery

•Flight in Animals Gallery

•Foreign Animals Gallery

•Reptile Gallery

•Bird Gallery

•Mammal Gallery

•Coral Gallery

•Invertebrate Gallery

•Fish Gallery

c. Botany

•Systematic Botany Gallery

•Economic Botany Gallery


•General Geology Gallery

•Economic Geology Gallery

e. Anthropology

•Arms Gallery

•Pre-History Gallery

•Ethnology Gallery

•Musical Instruments Gallery

•Folk Art Gallery

•Physical Anthropology Gallery

•Puppets Gallery

f. Archaeology

•Industrial Art Gallery

•Wood Carvings Gallery

•Bronze Gallery

g. Children's Museum

•Dolls Gallery

•Civilisation Gallery

•Science Gallery

•Transportation Gallery

•Technology Gallery

•Kids Corner

h.National Art Gallery

•Tanjore Painting Gallery

•Decorative Art Gallery

•Indian Traditional Art Gallery

•Ravi Varma Painting Gallery

i.Contemporary Art Gallery

•Exposition on the progress of Industries and Handicrafts of Tamil Nadu (Ground Floor)

•Raja Ravi Varma Gallery (Fibre Optic Gallery) (First Floor)

•British Portraits Gallery (First Floor)

•Modern Art Gallery (First Floor)

•The Rock and Cave Art Gallery (Second Floor)

•The Hollographic Gallery (Second Floor)

Best time to visit

You can visit the Museum and the Art Gallery anytime.


Don't miss the Amravati Gallery or the Bronze Gallery - they both hold treasures worth viewing!


The Museum is open from 9:30 am till 5:00 pm. The Museum remains closed on Fridays and on national holidays (Republic Day-26th January, Independence Day- 15th August and Gandhi Jayanthi- 2nd October).

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