India's oldest museum has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in Asia, including one of the best natural-history collections in the world. It's known locally as Jadu Ghar, the "House of Magic." The archaeology section has representative antiquities from prehistoric times to the Moghul period, including relics from Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, the oldest excavated Indus Valley cities. The southern wing includes the Bharhut and Gandhara rooms (Indian art from
the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD), the Gupta and medieval galleries, and the Moghul gallery.
The Indian Museum also houses the world's largest collection of Indian coins; ask at the information desk for permission to see it. Gems and jewelry are on display. The art section on the first floor has a good collection of textiles, carpets, wood carving, papier-mâché figures, and terra-cotta pottery. A gallery on the third floor contains exquisite Persian and Indian miniature paintings, and banners from Tibetan monasteries. The anthropology section on the first floor is devoted to cultural anthropology, though the museum plans to establish India's first comprehensive exhibit on physical anthropology; some interesting specimens are an Egyptian mummy donated in 1880 by an English seaman, a fossilized 200-million-year-old tree trunk, the lower jaw of a 26-meter (84-foot) whale, and meteorites dating back 50,000 years.
Mar 16, 2013
Indian Museum, one of the oldest in the world, will celebrate its bicentenary in 2014. Anup Motilal, director of the museum as an additional charge, said work on the external facade will start in December this year. He claimed Chapman & Taylor (C&T), which has been roped in as the consultancy firm to prepare a report on the restoration work, has already submitted a report. But when contacted, C&T India representative Sapna Kumar told TOI they have
three months time and will submit the report in December. Another member of the committee echoed it. "We tried to do something for the museum, but the entire project was politicized. We never shunned a dialogue, but our plans were dumped even without debating the pros and cons," ultimately it came to our knowledge that even C&T has offshored the consultancy regarding the project report to some restorer group in Kolkata itself, words are flowing that the project work was done under the guidance of some Biswadip Sen who lost the goodwill due to some shaddy works in the past, he said on condition of anonymity.But what was the contribution of the then director KK Basa, who took over as director from Anuradha Mukherjee? Guha-Thakurta had an answer for that. "Kishore Basa was hounded out by the big daddies of the ministry of culture. He was made the scapegoat for all inaction at the museum," she said.With no one having a clue if the BVDC has been disbanded or still exists, a competitive plan being scrapped and a construction company being awarded the restoration project trashing qualified architects, it seems the Indian Museum will find it difficult to rise to the occasion of its bicentenary celebrations. Dated : 29.12.2012 Phase Period - 2008 onwards