Delhi, the sprawling, busy capital of India, is a tourist mecca with endless sights and attractions. But there is a side to Delhi perhaps you’ve overlooked. There are dozens of museums spread throughout the city. Many of these museums and exhibits on display showcasing the rich Hindu and British heritage of the area while others are designed for art lovers or those who have a yen for the bizarre. Here are the seven best museums in Delhi.
National Museum of India
As far as Indian museums go, The National Museum is truly the crème de la crème. This collection of artifacts and exhibits ranging from pre-historic times to today was established in 1949, just after India became independent of Great Britain. While here, you can explore 200,000 works of art, some of which date back 5,000 years. The National Museum also houses the National Museum Institute of History and the Arts.
Shankar’s International Dolls Museum
Not conventional by any means, Shankar’s International Dolls Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of dolls. These dolls are a reflection of the multicultural mosaic of the world. While many wear traditional Indian costumes, others come from Japan, the UK, Spain, Hungary, and many other nations.
The life of one of India’s most famous citizens is highlighted in glass exhibits, murals and interactive presentations in Gandhi Smriti also referred to locally as Birla House. The Mahatma Gandhi spent the remaining 144 days of this life in this location, which was dedicated as a museum in 2005.
National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum
For those who want to see firsthand amazing collections of traditional Indian arts and crafts, there’s no better place than here. The finest pieces of artwork are part of the permanent collection in the galleries of Bhuta Sculpture Gallery, Tribal and Folk Art, Ritual Craft Gallery and Textiles Gallery. There are also works on display produced by artisans representing many of the country’s tribal minority groups.
National Gallery of Modern Art
This is India’s premier modern art gallery. Operated by the Ministry of Culture, the main museum at Jaipur House in downtown Delhi boasts a collection of over 14,000 works. Many of these works are by famous Indian artists including Thomas Daniell, Raja Ravi Verma, Abanindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil as well as foreign artists.
Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
This one truly fits into the category of bizarre – even outright quirky. A museum dedicated to the history of the toilet. Who would have thought such a house of exhibits would draw so much attention? Yes, when you visit here, you’ll learn how the humble toilet has evolved over the past 50 centuries, from Roman and Medieval times to the development of modern plumbing systems in the Victorian period.
Madame Tussauds Delhi
Wax figures of some of the world’s most famous rock stars, actors and athletes appear lifelike in this museum. Bollywood is set to rival Hollywood and many legends of Indian cinema including Amitabh Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor are honored here.
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