Museums are institutions that collect and preserve artifacts and other items of artistic, cultural, historical or scientific importance. Bangalore is blessed with many such museums – each one showcases a unique field of importance.
The Government museum or the Bangalore museum is one such museum dedicated to archaeology. It is one of the oldest museums in India and the second oldest museum in south India. The establishment of the museum was commissioned on 18th August 1865 under the guidance of Edward Balfour and L.B.Bowring(the then chief commissioner of Mysore state). The museum was planned and completed by Colonel Richard Hieram Sankey (the then chief engineer of Mysore state). The museum is centrally located on the Kasturba road. It is fringed by the Visvesvaraya Industrial Technological museum and the Venkattapa art gallery.
The building was constructed in 1877 in neo-classical architectural style. The magnificent 148-year old structure standing sturdy with its Corinthian columns, circular arches, sloping eaves, sloping parapet walls and portico mesmerizes the onlookers with its beauty. The imposing red façade of the building balanced with white patches of elements here and there can surely not be missed on the busy Kasturba road.
The museum houses a unique collection of archeological and geographical artefacts including antique jewellery, sculptures, coins and inscriptions. It spans over two floors consisting of 18 galleries. It covers various sections of archaeology like sculpture, natural history, geology, art, music and numismatics. It roughly houses around 70 paintings, 84 sculptures and hundreds of other artefacts. The museum has sculptures from the Hoysala, Gandhara and Nolamba periods on display. Neolithic pottery from Chandravalli, artefacts from Mohenjodaro, Halebid, Vijayanagar, terracotta from Mathura, warefare from Kodagu, paintings from Deccan, Tanjore and Mysore dynasties are among the other interesting exhibits. The earliest Kannada inscription and Atakur inscription are among the prized possessions of the museums.
Apart from the indoor display of the collections, the museum has a captivating outdoor display in the form of stone inscriptions, sculptures, and warefare etc.
Hence, the museum is a fascinating place and one will surely get lost in admiring the exhibits displayed. As the museum is located in the vicinity of many other places of interest like Cubbon park and M G Road, it attracts a good crowd on a daily basis apart from interested history buffs.