Delhi is home to an impressive array of cool indoor museums and art galleries. When it’s swelteringly hot and too humid to go outside, why not learn about India’s rich history and discover the capital’s lively art scene?
The National Museum
The vast air conditioned rooms of the National Museum on Janpath, right in the heart of the city, takes visitors on a tour of India’s rich past. Sculptures, textiles, music and jewellery come together as the National Museum showcases the best of India’s history and explains how it relates to the present.
A rolling calendar of events and special sessions for kids during holiday time make this museum a must visit. Here’s a map to help you get there. Open 11am – 5pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday.
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library was once the home of India’s first post independence Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. A well curated museum that tells Nehru’s life story and India’s struggle for independence from British rule.
Set in wonderful gardens you’ll also find the Nehru planetarium. India’s first PM loved astrology. Located in the Diplomatic Enclave, click here for a map. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Closed on Monday.
National Handicrafts Museum
The Craft Museum, showcasing India’s artisans and their crafts, comes in five parts.
First up, there’s the gallery showcasing India’s rich craft history and the story of its artisans. Then there’s the village, where traditional homes from a selection of India’s 29 states are displayed. Thirdly, there’s a creative space giving visitors the chance to see artisans at work. It’s more like a market.
Part four of the complex houses a pretty decent fixed priced museum shop and finally, in part five, there’s the chance to dine at the surprisingly tasty museum restaurant. All in all, five good reasons to go.
A website, click here, that always seems to be under construction gives more information. Find the Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan, Bhairon Road, New Delhi-110001. This google map will give you in. Open 10am – 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays
Gandhi Smriti tells the life story of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, one of the 20th Century’s most inspiring individuals.
Gandhi, also known as Bapu (the father of the nation), the Mahatma or Gandhi ji, lived his final days here and was assassinated by Hindu fundamentalist in the buildings garden’s in 1948. If you want to know more about Gandhi check out this film and one of my earlier posts.
Located on Tees January Lane, Birla House, New Delhi. Open from 10am – 5pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday. This google map shows you where to go.
Indira Gandhi’s Memorial Museum
Indira Gandhi, Nehru’s daughter, was India’s Prime Minister between 1966 and 1977 and again from 1980 until 1984, when she was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards after ordering Indian troops to regain control of the Golden Temple in Amritsar which had been taken over by Sikh separatists.
Widely revered, bus loads of Indians come to Indira’s Memorial Museum to pay homage every day. The museum also contains a section devoted to her son, Rajiv, who was also assassinated, by Sri Lankan Tamil separatists, in 1991.
Located at No. 1, Safderjang Road, New Delhi- 110 011. Closed on Mondays and the second Saturday of the month. Google map link here.
National Gallery of Modern Art
India’s premier modern art institution, the National Gallery of Modern Art, located in the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, houses works of modern art from 1850s onwards.
Many of country’s most important pieces, including works by Abanendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Rabindranath Tagore and Jamini Roy are on display. Guided walks, for free, are held every day at 11.00 am, 1. 30 pm and 3.30 pm.
Located at the Old Wing of Jaipur House, off India Gate, the National Gallery website will show you explain how to plan your visit.
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is a home for the study and experience of all the arts – the written, oral and visual in their broadest form.
Founded in memory of Indira Gandhi, the centre’s gardens host exhibitions and events in the cooler winter months. Located at 1, C. V. Mess, Janpath, New Delhi, Here’s a map to help you find it.