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Started in 1851, Government Museum, Chennai, or Madras Museum is the second oldest museum in India after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. Rich in archaeological and numismatic collections, the museum has the largest collection of Roman antiquities, outside Europe.

Visitors get to see the country's best collection of South Indian bronzes, both ancient and modern icons of Nataraja, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman.

The museum has mainly six buildings. The main building has a fine archaeological section representing all the major South Indian periods, including Chola, Vijayanagara, Hoysala and Chalukya.  It also has a fine ethnology collection. The front building has a collection of arms, puppets and other art pieces. Bronze sculptures, old coins and chemically preserved artefacts can be seen in the Bronze Gallery. Filled with attractive and interactive educational exhibits, the Children's Museum is a treasure of knowledge.

The National Art Gallery exhibits a host of beautiful paintings, including those from the  16th and 18th centuries, ones from Rajasthan, the Mughal period and 17th century Deccani art. The Contemporary Art Gallery houses British-time portraits, modern arts and other exhibits.  

A must check-out space is the Museum Theatre. Cultural and academic programmes are conducted here from time to time. The theatre also acts as a venue for performing arts like dramas and music concerts.

The museum also houses Connemara Public Library which consists of centuries-old publications and some of the rare literary collections in the country.

 

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