My cousins came to Kolkata to see me a few weeks back. I was handed over the responsibility to give them a tour of the city. I was thinking to myself what are the places where I could take them? I thought that Kolkata is a city which has a rich cultural heritage and has a big history. The best place would be from a spot where I could give them an introduction to the wonderful history of the city. I took them to the Indian Museum. This museum was founded way back in 1814 thus making it more than 200 years old. It is the oldest museum in India and the 9th oldest museum in the world. In this article, I would be sharing my experience with this museum.
A visit to Indian Museum Kolkata – A 200 Year Artifact
How to reach here?
Visiting this museum is really easy. Buses, Cabs, Metro is easily accessible from this location. If you want to reach here by taking the metro then you would need to come to Park Street Metro Station or Esplanade Metro Station (Both are located at almost equal walking distances). Inside the metro, you would see many gates, directions are given on the board about which gate is nearest to the Museum. Taking a cab requires no additional effort, the driver would drop you outside the gate of the museum. If you are taking the bus, get onto any bus which goes to Park Street or Dharamtala they would drop you outside the gate.
What is the entry fees?
The museum charges you Rs. 50 for entering the museum. If you are taking a camera then you would be charged an additional Rs. 100. However, I would suggest don’t take the camera along with you. The best place to take the photograph inside the museum is the Egyptian area where you can find a mummy, but it is restricted to take the photo. There are other places as well where photography isn’t allowed. We were not aware of this regulation otherwise we wouldn’t have taken the camera inside.
One thing which isn’t cool about the museum is that there is not even a single counter which sells anything. Water, snacks, beverages nothing are available inside. So, if you are planning to enter the museum make sure you carry your supplies. However, if you can control your hunger for a little bit then in the very next street near the museum there are numerous food stalls. These food stalls serve chowmein, Kati rolls, kebabs, biriyani and fried rice. The taste is really amazing and they use standard oil so the risk of getting food poisoning is not there. However, if you are a little sophisticated and do not like to try street foods then Park street is at a walking distance. For all those of you are unaware, Park Street is the restaurant capital of the city; you would find at least 50-60 restaurants in a radius of 2 kilometres.
About the museum
In total there are six galleries which you can find in this museum. Geology, Art, Botany, Zoology, Archaeology and Anthropology. In these galleries, you would be coming across paintings which are centuries old. Many of them belong to the B.C period. The coins of the Mughal empire, British period, Gupta Period are displayed. The paintings are extremely brilliant, they display a certain level of detail which is mind-blowing. The best part which I liked about the museum is the room where the Egyptian mummy is kept. The room is filled with 8 ACs to prevent the mummy from decaying. Looking at the mummy would give you eerie feelings. Overall, it’s a wonderful experience.
Honestly, in my opinion, the Indian museum requires maintenance. Most of the artefacts are filled with dust and there are certain corners of the museum which has cracks on them. The architecture of the museum is amazing; I mean just the roof of the museum would awestruck you; the height and the way it has been designed is really breathtaking. We had gone to the museum on a summer afternoon and we were regretting this decision during our entire tenure when we were inside the museum. The museum is not air conditioned which makes it a little difficult to roam around. If you are planning to go to the museum, I would advise you to visit it in the evening. The entire tour would take you about 2 hours.
Just because it is a museum, don’t be judgmental. It is not at all boring and there are pretty interesting things which would really make it worth a visit. Here were a few things you should know when you visit the 200-year-old Indian Museum.