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Museums in Chennai

Chennai is a city which is very known for its culture, architecture and museums in India. There are a number of museums in Chennai; the first government funded museum, was opened in Chennai in the year 1851.  There are a number of museums, and some of the most famous ones are the art museums, that have a rich collection of paintings and sculptures.

The theme of these, vary from the various work of Raja Ravi Varma, and others famous paintings under varied rulers like the Mughal and Rajput. Most of the paintings portray the court scenes, and there are various works of the British Governors and Governor Generals, when India was under the British rule. Both traditional and modern paintings are displayed in the museums.

Government Museum in Chennai

Building of Government Museum in ChennaiThis museum dates back to the year 1851, and the approvals for the museum, where obtained by the British Governor, from the East India Company. The museum is also called the Central Museum, is currently located at the city center on Pantheon Road. The museum has 46 galleries and houses, two very famous artifacts, one being the sculpture of Amravati and the various bronze objects.

The bronze objects belong to the Pallava, Chola and the Chalukya periods. There is a huge collection of antique jewelry, and diverse musical instruments on, display at this museum. The museum has different sections, such as Archaeology section, Biology section, Children’s museum and even an art gallery.


Pantheon Road,
Chennai- 600008

The museum is a distance of half a kilometre from the Egmore railway Station and is 2 kilometres away from the Central Railway Station. It is situated at a distance of 20 Kilometers from Meenambakkam AirPort.

Opening Hours:  9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Holidays: Fridays, Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanthi.
Entrance Fee:
Rs. 15/- for Indian adults
Rs. 10/- for Indian children below the age of 12.
Rs. 5/- for bonafide Indian students and teachers in groups with prior permission.
Rs. 250/- for adult (Non-Indian)
Rs. 125/-for children (Non-Indian)
Rs. 75/-for bonafide students and teachers in groups with prior
Permission (Non-Indian)
Camera Charges: Rs. 200/- for one camera..
Video Camera Charges: Rs. 500/- for one video camera

Fort St George Museum in Chennai

Building of St George Museum in ChennaiThe museum of Fort St George is a very famous museum in Chennai, which are often visited by tourist around the world. The museum came into existence in the year 1948, initially the museum had started collecting artifacts, that were bestowed, by the British Raj, but later it started collecting objects, from varied sources.

 It currently has ten galleries, the museum is situated within the fort, and it is one of the oldest surviving buildings, and every wall of this building has a story to tell.

Many of the objects on display are items that were used for the war, such as; pistols, cannons, swords and daggers. There is a lot of crockery on display, which were used by, the officers of the East India Company. The museum is open on all, days for visitors except Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Fort St. George, Kamaraj Road,
Tel: +91 044 2567 0389

Opening Hours:
09.00 am to 5.00 pm, closed on Friday

Fee for admission:
Indian citizens – Rs 5
For others: US $ 2 or Rs. 100/-
(It is free for Children up to the age of 15).

Regional Railway Museum in Chennai

A train model kept outside the regional railway station in ChennaiThis museum came into existence in the year 2002 and is located in Perambur. The museum houses a number of vintage coaches and steam engines. Most of the artifacts, on display dates back to more than hundred years. The majority of the engines, where manufactured by the British locomotive company.

Tourists, who travel to Chennai, are not aware of the presence of this museum and it is in the need for more publicity.
At present this museum has joy rides for children, so that they can learn about our rich history and the artifacts that date back, during the British rule.

Regional Rail Museum,ICF
Perambur,Chennai – 600 038

Opening hours:  Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 5pm, Monday is holiday.

Entry ticket- Rs 10
Fare for toy train ride- Rs 10
Camera- Rs 50
Video Camera- Rs 100

Other Museums in Chennai:

Rukmini Devi Museum in Chennai

This museum is devoted to, Rukmini Devi Arundale, the originator of Kalakshetra. The objects on display are the one’s collected by Rukmini Devi herself, and these include household items, paintings and sculptures. Many of the artefacts on display were used by her such as furniture, sarees and her tableware. Some of the items were gifted to her, by her aficionados, and these have been received, from all over the world.                                

Kalakshetra Foundation,
Phone: +91-44-24524057

Time: Monday – Saturday : 10 an – 6 pm, Sunday – closed

Entry fee:
Indian citizens – Free
Foreign Nationals – Rs 25

Barathi Memorial Museum in Chennai

The museum is located in Pondicherry and was the house of the famous Tamil Poet Subramania Bharati.The famous artifacts of this museum include ancient manuscripts, letters and photographs all associated to Subramania Bharati.

Bharati Memorial Museum
No: 20, Eswaran Dharamaraja Koil street
Phone – 0091- 413-2339497

Working hours:
Monday - Friday: 9.00 AM - 6.00 PM,
Saturday: 9.00 AM - 6.00 PM,
Sunday: 9.00 AM - 6.00 PM,
Public Holidays: 9.00 AM - 6.00 PM

Chennai is a city that stands out, in every field, whether it is culture, education and its museums. A trip to these famous museums, often open our eyes, and we learn so much about the life our forefathers have lived, and the dedication of many people to make it distinct.

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