GOVERNMENT MUSEUM, CHENNAI – A TOURIST DESTINATION
GOVERNMENT MUSEUM, CHENNAI – A TOURIST
Madras is the fourth largest city in India and it is one of the biggest cultural, economic and educational centres in South India. Museums have an important role to play in preserving, displaying and publishing the different aspects of the cultural heritage of a country. The Government Museum, Chennai is the largest and oldest of the state museums in India. It was setup in 1851 with 20,000 objects. This was first initiated on the upper house in Fort St. George. Later it was shifted to the present place known as Pantheon buildings in December 1854. In 1856 it had a Zoological Garden with 360 animals which was taken over by the Municipality. Initially, the museum had in its collection of antiquities from various parts of the country. The centenary celebration was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on November 27, 1951. The National Art Gallery was open to the public on that occasion. The museum complex consisting of six buildings and 46 galleries covers an area of around 16.25 acres of land. The objects displayed in the museum cover a variety of artefacts and objects covering diverse fields including archaeology, numismatics, zoology, natural history, sculptures, palm-leaf manuscripts and Amravati paintings.