Second oldest Museum in India !
The second oldest museum in India after the Indian museum Kolkata was established in Madras in 1851. In August 1778, the Governor of Madras granted 43 acres for an estate to a civil servant, who, subsequently in 1793, assigned the grounds to a committee of 24 which then regulated the public amusements in the city. In 1821, the committee sold the main house and central garden space to E. S. Moorat, an Armenian merchant who, in turn, sold it back to the government in 1830. The government first used the buildings and the grounds as the collector’s “Cutcherry” and later for the “Central Museum.”The museum was originally established in a building on College Road in Nungambakkam in the year 1851 and was shifted to Egmore in 1854.
It is a museum all about the human history and culture. It mainly focuses on archeological and numismatic collections. The museum complex consisting of six buildings and 46 galleries covers an area of around 16.25 acres (66,000 m²) of land. The objects displayed in the museum cover a variety of artifacts and objects covering diverse fields including archeology, numismatics, zoology, natural history, sculptures, palm-leaf manuscripts and Amravati paintings. The museum theatre is a rare specimen of Italianate style of architecture. During the British era, the theatre was mainly used for staging English plays preferred by the British elite of the city. Now, the museum has been using the theatre for its own cultural and academic programs such as art workshops, lectures and conferences. It also rents the hall for various cultural performances, mainly dramas. The hall has witnessed several plays including those of Shakespeare. Since August 2004, the museum is also a designated “Manuscript Conservation Centre” (MCC) under the National Mission for Manuscripts established in 2003. The museum has taken preventive care of about 19,007 manuscripts and given curative conservation treatment to about 7,402 manuscripts. The museum for children in the complex houses several static exhibits such as galleries of dolls adorned with costumes of various nations and civilizations and also exhibits pertaining to science, transportation, and technology. The museum is located in Pantheon road, Egmore. Visit the museum and know more about the history and culture of our country.