You do not have to love history to come to the Indian Museum.
If you see films, you will find many things to relate. There is the Egyptian Mummy and the remains of the Jurassic times. There is a famous actor’s collection and a legendary man’s remains.
In one word, it will blow your mind.
You can call the Indian Museum at Kolkata the Father of all Museums in Asia. In 1814, there was a marvellous mansion in Kolkata which the Asiatic Society of Bengal turned into a grand museum. This was not only the first museum in India or the Indian subcontinent, but the first in the whole Asia Pacific region. That itself makes this museum a piece of history.
Here are some things everyone would love to see in the Indian Museum –
#1 The Mummy
Yes, a true Egyptian Mummy! So that you do not have to visit Egypt to see one.
Egyptian Mummies are rarely found outside the native country. Indian Museum of Kolkata is one of the very few museums in the world that has the honour of housing an Egyptian Mummy. The Mummy has been called the most famous guest in Kolkata and recently there have been uproars on the preservation conditions of the guest.
However, if Egyptian stuff fascinates you, the Egyptian Gallery in this museum is worth a visit.
#2 Buddha’s ashes
The great man who changed- and is still changing- the world with his love, the Great Buddha. We read about him in our history books, but when one stands before his ashes, it sends a chill through the spine. It is one thing to read, and a totally different thing to experience.
In 1898, a British archaeologist accidentally excavated a stupa and urns which contained Gautama Buddha’s ashes and bone remains. It was sent to this museum.
#3 Basanta Chaoudhury’s Ganeshas
Basanta Choudhury was a superlative actor who also had outstanding collections. Apart from his famous collection of shawls which Satyajit Ray borrowed for his shoots – Basant Choudhury also was a connoisseur of Ganesha figures.
Each of these beautiful and extremely valuable Ganeshas collected from all the over country were enviable piece of art, extremely rare and full of historical value. In 2000, Basanta Choudhury donated his 20 Ganeshas to the India Museum and from then, those rare Ganeshas are exhibited for the large.
Bonus- If you are a music connoisseur, you would also enjoy the exceptional musical instruments donated by Raja Sourindro Mohan Tagore.
#4 Ice Age and Jurassic Park
If you love films, there is plenty for you. There is the mammoth, saber tooth and much more from the Ice Age days. Jurassic Park fans can see dinosaur skeletons and remains of their eggs. Giant crocodiles and scary creatures long extinct will surely capture your attention.
#5 Ashok Stambh
Open your wallet and take out any note or coin – and you can see the iconic Ashoka Stambh there.
Today, this four-lioned sculpture of Sarnath is more than just history. It is our living present. It is the face of our country and our national emblem.
Go and feel the magic of the museum.
Credits: Wikipediamuseumsofindia.gov.in, indianmuseumkolkata.org, www.piprahwa.com