Museums are the best getaway when you want to try to go somewhere new and look at something different while you step into each door. My first museum experience was when I was doing my 7th grade. Back then it was too late for me, comparatively. I saw kids smaller than me at that time were taken to a museum from their school. Well, my school always took us to an amusement park(I loved em) and factories(so-so). I compelled and dragged my dad to take me there even though I knew that’s the only day he can rest and he was reluctant to leave.
Eventually, I forgot that visit, most of them, as time passed. I visited that Museum Complex often to go to the oldest library (Connemara Public Library) in the town which stays inside the complex but didn’t have the leisure to visit Museum. After completing my Undergraduate, I went there with one of my friends and had a great time even though we didn’t get to see the Museum entirely. It was under serious renovation back then. Now it is almost closer to completion so, I decided to visit with my brother. He has never been there.
Egmore Government Museum! I bet most of you haven’t been there. It is quite accessible through roadways. Being in the “almost center of Chennai”, it has vast collection of arts and artefacts and also various fun elements for you to see and enjoy. It is the 2nd oldest Museum in India. If this didn’t attract you, it is also the 10th oldest Museum in the WORLD, and, you still haven’t visited it? Not cool guys. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy everything it holds inside.
Its the house of culture and heritage which you have to visit at least once. From statues, sculptures, animal remains, moving dinosaurs(check out the instagram for the video) to the most beautiful showcase of arts and coolest old age weapons, pots and musical instruments in the anthropological section. There are a total of 6 buildings inside the complex, most of them are pretty old and artistic revealing with so much to see in the architectural style than just the museum collection. I have enjoyed looking at the architecture more closely as it is my third time. Every time, you get to observe something new, its not just with books but also with these heritage buildings. Its architectural aspects such as the widows, the ceiling, the doors and the staircases. You can get to notice more if you observe more than just seeing.
The pavements you take to visit each building are still unattractive, yet you can have some good time as you step inside the buildings. Nowadays they have staffed more people inside the buildings than before and trying to bring a system which is sloppy at present but expected to be good. At some places, you will be watched by the staffs so that you aren’t taking photos. I have been warned by almost three staff asking me to stop photographing the cute tortoise and beautiful ceilings. Sigh. But I did take photographs. I rebel twice a month outside the home.
This Museum Complex is also known as a venue for many theatrical shows, conferences, workshops and art exhibitions. Especially the Museum theatre which is well known for revealing its Italian style architecture of the 1800s. Its main hall can hold more than 500 people comfortably. Currently not accessible due to renovation work. You can sense the trace of British era around the premises at various places. Most importantly make sure to get the glimpse of the exterior of Victoria Hall which is not opened for visitors yet, but the artistic exterior speaks all, the window and the balcony are quiet luxurious even to look at them. You can also see towels and clothes of workers drying up here and there… ignore them. I am telling this beforehand so that your expectations don’t get shattered.
My most favourite aspect of the museum, on the whole, is the Zoological and Natural history collection. But the Anthropological collection is my top most favourite with wonderfully crafted weapons of past which are quite cool! Very Cool! and Contemporary Art Gallery with renowned artists from the British era and few Ravi Varma’s work. Hope you also able to identify a famous meme-worthy painting among them which was quite popular. And also make sure to visit the Bronze Statue Gallery with perfect lighting which gives you a futuristic feel. On the whole, make sure to experience every single aspect of the museum where past and present merges beautifully. The most booing aspect of the visit is Rs.200 for photographs and Rs400 for videography?! Seriously! Also, one staff can’t get rid of her suspicion of me that she keep on stalking me. Also, it’s not just me, if you know the Youtube Channel Paridhabangal, the team members were also there. They were also not allowed to take photographs and got warned. So I felt a little satisfied.
It takes about 2hrs to see all the section of the museum and its collection, plus a lot of energy. Make sure not to spend lots of time in the beginning in the archaeological sculpture section as it eventually makes you miss lots more good things to come, because you’ll get tired. Especially, when you have kids in the family. Back then, even though it is true that I am the one who dragged my dad in with excitement, its also fact that I am the one who dragged him out as my legs started to hurt and I got hungry. Carry lots of snacks, eat it in the outdoor dining space next to the children’s park. There used to be an aavin kiosk, but it is currently closed, quite sad. Try to wear good shoes, you will be walking more than expected.
I also noticed that they have wheelchair accessibility and also accessibility for people who have difficulty in climbing up stairs. Apart from these at present they are bringing in more digital boards and digital interpretation options. They also have a separate application to learn about the collections. You have lots of benches inside the Museum Gallery to take some break in-between, very thoughtful.
So, Why not a Museum? Why the Museum wasn’t your option to go when you are bored. These days, I notice many parents having time to take their children for shopping malls and show the branded goods behind the glasses instead of history and time staying inside the Museum behind glasses. Our Government Museum isn’t perfect, not well maintained at various level and not as attractive as the museums you see it in Hollywood movies. I agree with this. I also agree with the fact that there is a fault in the management and the Government. And let me also remind you that you are at fault too. I have always believed that walls and buildings have a life too. Its lifeline is humans and their activity. If we people start visiting a place which lost its light which burnt brighter through the laughter and the voice of people, it automatically regains its effervescence through your presence. Or else it is branded as useless with no improvement made when people’s activity pause.
So make sure to visit the museum and give it more life so that it stands the test of time. Before appreciating things that are out of reach, learn to appreciate that are closer to you.
You can visit any time of the week except Friday. You are allowed from 9:30 AM-5:00 PM. If you like to watch among lesser crowd start from 11:00 AM. Its the best time. Once you finished spending time at the museum, there are many restaurants close by such as Palmshore and Rawthar. There are many other restaurants apart from these in the surroundings. The closest metro railway station is AG-DMS. The closest railway station is Egmore Railway Station. Share autos are also available. And you also have a bus stop at a walkable distance. I’ll be sharing the direction link below. Don’t forget the mask. Your safety comes first.
If you have any other queries, make sure to DM through my Instagram page. You can access it through the icon below the menu button above. Since I can’t share videos and many more best photos here I’ll be sharing them on my Instagram page. Check them out.
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