03 Jul 2023

Delhi Summer Museum Trail

Deeply responsive to weather conditions Delhi’s citizenry is quick to embrace the seasonal diversions at hand. Dilliwallahs love being outdoors, but the hot summer sends them scurrying into the cool interiors of homes, restaurants and malls.

Since Its too hot to be outdoors this is the best time to spend the afternoons lost in the corridors of the past and contemporary times in the cool and tranquil environs of some of Delhi’s wonderfully airconditioned museums.

Partition Museum

Recently inaugurated in Delhi a new branch of Amritsar’s Partition Museum has opened its doors at the Dara Shikho Library near Chandni Chowk. The exhibits of Refugee Artefacts, Art, Archival Materials and Oral History shine the light on how up to 20 million people were affected by the largest migration in human history as a result of India being divided by the British into two nations.

National Museum of India

The treasure trove of numerous delights for history and heritage buffs houses over 200,000 works of foreign and Indian art. Expect some rich learnings from over 5,000 years of worldwide rich cultural heritage showcased here. Unmissable are the Central Asian antiques, Buddhist art, and Western and Pre-Columbian arts.

National Crafts Museum

Delve deep into India’s incredible crafting traditions and the skills of its artisans. On display are over 35, 000 distinctive pieces of craft including textiles, embroidery, paintings, and clay, metal, wood and stone works, which document many aspects of this fabulous heritage. Later spend a leisurely time indulging your tastebuds at the adjoining Café Lota with some yummy regional Indian dishes.

The National Gallery of Modern Art

Awash with a superb collection of over 14,000 artworks of both Indian and foreign artists this is one of the world’s largest modern art museums. High points include the 19th and early-20th century paintings by British artists, Thomas Daniell, and his nephew, William and the works of old masters like Raja Ravi Varma, and modernists such as like Rabindranath Tagore and Amrita Sher-Gill.

Kiran Nadar Museum Of Art

This popular private museum attracts visitors to spin out a hot afternoon in its cool interiors contemplating an incredible range of modern and contemporary art of India. Regular workshops are organized for students here. Apart from the permanent collection on display they offer new exhibits all year round.

Tibet House Museum

Browse through the lovely display of prayer objects, headgear and musical instruments which offer a window to Tibet’s art and cultural traditions and heritage. Founded by His Holiness the Dalai Lama the museum was created to preserve and disseminate the unique cultural heritage of Tibet and to provide a centre for Tibetan and Buddhist studies. It has an in-house library with over 5,000 volumes of manuscripts and books.

National Rail Museum

You will love your time spent in this atmospheric space rich in nostalgia. Railways were to transform life in India in incredible ways and the Rail Museum offers an unforgettable documentation of India’s rail heritage. There are exhibits on display both indoors and outside. You can spend hours here exploring the collection of locomotives, historical pictures, and railway artefacts. Do look out for the Morris-Belsize fire engine {one of two in the world}, the Patiala State Monorail Trainways and the old coaches– amongst them the Prince of Wales Saloon, built in 1875 and the Maharaja of Mysore's Saloon built in 1899. There’s even a toy train you can ride around the complex.

Camera Museo

The outcome of a long-rooted passion of a Delhi-based photographer, this is India's first centre for the photographic arts. It is the brain child of Photographer, Historian, Archivist, Aditya Arya who started it with his personal collection in the basement of his home in 2009. Today it is the largest not-for-profit crowd funded Centre for Photographic Arts in South East Asia. Spread over 18,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to the art of Photography it’s a unique public - private partnership between India Photo Archive Foundation and The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram. Browse through 3000 + items including cameras, miscellaneous equipment and Photographic ephemera. It’s a wonderful documentation of many milestones in photography over a period of 200 years. The collection includes over 2500 antique cameras from over 100 countries. Unmissable: the tiniest camera on earth, the oldest (dating back to the 1870s), the earliest flash equipment: photographic films: lenses: enlargers and light meters.

Delhi NC R region has a slew of museum to explore. Plan ahead for curiosities like the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, the Replica Museum, Heritage Transport Museum, a selection of museums related to Mahatma Gandhi and many more.

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