The museums in Chandigarh signify its existence during the partition of India. The artifacts being the objects, paintings, sculpture and decorative arts were initially kept in the then capital of Punjab, Lahore. The division that took place made the objects be divided, the 60% of which were retained as these were those objects that have been already mentioned in books and extracted from the sites that came in Punjab region.
The remaining 40% that mainly constituted the sculptures of Gandhara and small paintings tend to be in the share of East Punjab. The collection so received in 1949 was first brought to Amritsar and then later was moved to Shimla. Later in 1954, the exhibits were shifted to Moti Bagh Palace situated in Patiala. However in 1960, it was suggested that the museum should have its own building in Chandigarh. On being approved, the plan however got withheld in 1962 for some time and finally the Museum came into being on May 1968.
The world famous Gandhara Sculptures are exhibited in the museum whose number is after to that of Lahore. The scholars and students may also fulfill their needs of knowledge through well maintained library in the Museum having a stock of 4600 books and references of arts and allied subjects.
Famous Museums in Chandigarh
Government Museum and Art Gallery
The Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh came into existence due to the partition of India in August 1947. Being one of the leading institutions of India, it holds a splendid collection of Pahari, Gandharan sculptures and Rajasthani miniature paintings. This collection was however stored in the central museum in Lahore before the partition and contained paintings, objects, statuaries and various decorative arts. A fine collection of stone sculptures may also be found in the Government Museum and Art Gallery situated in Sector 10 of Chandigarh. The prehistoric fossils and artifacts along with modern art and miniature paintings may also be observed here. The opening and closing time is 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. respectively for Government Museum and Art Gallery of Chandigarh and remains closed on Mondays.
Museum of Evolution of Life
Museum of Evolution of Life is situated in Sector-10 of Chandigarh and is an awesome place to have a memorable experience of the history as old as the beginning of Indus Valley Civilization. The Chandigarh Museum of Evolution of Life was opened for public viewing from 13th August 1973. The museum captures the origin of life as from the name it suggests, from the origin of unicellular organism to diversified biological existence of today. Museum of Evolution of Life is a must visiting place for those interested in evolutionary studies. The history has been explained by the help of paintings portraying the origin of life, the diversification in plants and animal species, extinct races of man, etc. It also holds art galleries rich in the fields of astronomy, archaeology, botany, biology, history and geology. A plenty of useful notebooks and scripts can be found in the available large reference library.
International Dolls Museum
Being one of the best museums in our country, the International Dolls Museum is located in Sector 23 of Chandigarh. It displays adorable sorts of dolls and puppets gathered from all part of the world. Established in 1985 by Chandigarh administration, The International Dolls Museum is in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Chandigarh. Its purpose is for kids’ entertainment. It is in itself an amusement park for children. About 250 different kinds of dolls that came from different countries like Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Russia and Korea etc are on display. The attraction added here is the toy train. It is a place liable to be visited.
The museum located in Sector 10 of Chandigarh was started in December 1997 and is maintained and run by the Department of Urban Planning Chandigarh. It accommodates the display of design and architectural related materials including the theme of “Chandigarh today and tomorrow” and an awesome collection rare pictures of the important events and individuals associated with the establishment and development of the young city Chandigarh of free India. It has three stories each dedicated to a unique theme.
National Gallery of Portraits
Situated in Sector 17B of Chandigarh and established in 1977, The National Gallery of Portraits is in itself a recognizable effort to aware the upcoming generation of the past great struggles the people had suffered to attain their dream of independent India. Its highlight is the recorded voices of the portraits of the great leaders of India. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is one of the prominent people whose features are on display in this gallery.
Some rare documents related to freedom struggle are also on display. Also, an eye catching library containing outstanding collection of books contributes to the vast account of freedom movement. On exhibition also are more than 1000 photographs and duplicates of original writings, ceramic murals and sculptures. National gallery of Portraits also shows a film related to the freedom movement of India on every Sunday at 2 p.m. It is opened from 9 am to 5 pm on all days excluding Mondays and Public Holidays.