Museums in Karnataka

The museums of Karnataka are repositories of the state's glorious history. Remnants of the bygone eras have been carefully preserved in the Karnataka museums. Besides sculpture and artifacts belonging to the ancient ages, the museums in Karnataka exhibit traditional paintings.

Folklore Museum, Mysore
Gandhi Bhavan, Bangalore
Government Museum, Banglore
Government Museum, Basavakalyana, Bidar District
Srimanthi Bai Memorial Government Museum, Bijai
Government Museum, Rangaiahna Bagilu, Chitradurga
Government Museum, Hassan
Government Museum, Hoovina Hadagali, Bellary
Government Museum, Gadag
Government Museum, Gulbarga
Government Museum, Madikeri
Government Museum, Raichur
Government Museum, Shivappanayaka Palace, Shimoga
HAL heritage and Aerospace Museum, Bangalore
Hampi Archaeological Museum
Hastha Shilpa Heritage Village
Legends Motorcycle Museum, Bangalore
Janapada Loka, Mysore
Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, Mysore
Karnataka Folk Museum, Bangalore
Kavishila Museum, Teerthahalli
Keladi Museum, Shimoga
Kempegowda Museum, Banglore
K.R.C.M. Government Museum, Kittur
Law Museum, Bangalore
Madras Sappers Museum & Archives, Bangalore
Manjusha Museum, Dharmastala
Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, Manipal
Mysore Rail Museum, Mysore
NIMHANS Brain Museum, Bangalore
Philatelic Museum, Bangalore
Regional Museum of Natural History, Mysore
Sculpture Gallery, Badami
Shashwati Meseum, Bangalore
Tipu Sultan Museum, Srirangapatna
Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, Bangalore

Archaeological Survey of India

The Archaeological Survey of India is an Indian government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture that is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country. It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who also became its first Director-General. The Archaeological Survey of India is an attached office of the Ministry of Culture. Under the provisions of the AMASR Act of 1958, the ASI administers more than 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance. These can include everything from temples, mosques, churches, tombs, and cemeteries to palaces, forts, step-wells, and rock-cut caves. The Survey also maintains ancient mounds and other similar sites which represent the remains of ancient habitation.

The ASI is headed by a Director General who is assisted by an Additional Director General, two Joint Directors General, and 17 Directors.

Archaeological Sites in Karnataka
Directorate of Archaeology and Museums

18 Museums in Bangalore

1. Government Museum
The Government Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country which was established in 1865. Spread over two floors, it is split up into 18 galleries dedicated to archaeological and geological artifacts and several other artifacts that date back 5000 years. Archaeological museum has a rare collection of archaeological and geological artifacts such as ancient jewelry, sculpture and coins. Government Museum Bangalore has 70 paintings, 84 sculptures including sculptures from Hoysala, Gandharva, and Nolamba and numerous other unique artifacts. The museum is also home to the Halmidi inscription, the earliest Kannada inscription ever found which dates back to 450 AD.

2. Law Museum, Bangalore
Law Museum in Bangalore is dedicated to the legal profession. It was the brainchild of Karnataka High Court Chief justice Cyriac Joseph. The museum houses an original print of the Constitution of India, articles and documents related to the legal profession, seals, insignia and books. It also showcases the history of the High Court and the development of courts over the ages.

3. Venkatappa Art Gallery
Venkatappa Art Gallery is located just next to the Government Museum and attracts artists and art admirers from across the country. It houses the collections of Karnataka’s most famous artist, K. Venkatappa. The gallery was established in 1967 by then Chief Minister of Karnataka, S. Nijalingappa. Venkatappa Art Gallery is believed to be one of the best art museums in Bangalore that displays art pieces of other acclaimed artists also, including KK Hebbar (known for themed artwork). The gallery remains closed on Monday and Saturday.

4. Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum
Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum (VITM) was established by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India; in the memory of Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya. The museum was inaugurated in the year 1962 by the first Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. It houses various industrial products and engines. Situated in proximity to the Government Museum and Venkatappa Art Gallery, VITM exhibits 7 permanent galleries entitled Engine Hall, Fun Science, Electrotechnic, Space Emerging Technology in the Service of mankind, Biotechnological Revolution, BEL Hall of Electronics and Children Science. The museum organizes various activities such as sky observation program, Taramandal show, science lectures and demonstrations throughout the year.

5. Gandhi Museum
Gandhi Museum Bangalore, also known as Gandhi Bhawan, was established in the memory of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Inaugurated in the year 1965 by then President, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, this museum houses the rare photographs and letters of Mahatma Gandhi. The place also organizes meetings on Gandhian values in Bangalore. Located in the place where Mahatma Gandhi used to take strolls, the museum focuses on propagating Gandhian philosophies.

6. HAL Heritage Centre & Aerospace Museum
HAL Aerospace Museum was established in 2001 at the intersection of HAL Old Airport Road and Basavanagar Road. Spread over 4 acres of verdant land, HAL Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum is a virtual wonderland for aviation enthusiasts and history lovers. It offers an indelible experience that’s entertaining as well as illuminating. HAL Museum houses two major halls, one showing growth of Aviation in India from 1940 till date. The second hall is the ‘Hall of fame’ which takes the visitors on an exciting journey. The museum is open throughout the year from 9 am to 4:30 pm, except on National Holidays.

7. NIMHANS Brain Museum
Located in the National Institute of Health and Neurosciences, NIMHANS Brain Museum is involved in promoting neuroscience and public awareness programmes about brain donation. This museum houses over 600 brain specimens ranging from animal to human brains. Visitors gather information on the working of the brain and its internal structure at this place. The museum remains closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

8. Philatelic Museum
Located on the first floor of the General Post Office of Bangalore, the Philatelic Museum showcases hundreds of stamps from various time periods. The museum is quite well maintained and comprises stamps of different countries and denominations. The place also features a round study stable, surrounded by almirahs carrying 600 books and magazines devoted to philately. There is no entry fee to visit this place and remains closed on Sundays.

9. National Gallery of Modern Art
The National Gallery of Modern Art is located in the premises of Manikyavelu Mansion. NGMA is spread over an area of 3.5 acres and administered by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It is one of the three National Galleries of Modern Art in India, the remaining two located in New Delhi and Mumbai. It showcases the masterpieces of Indian art starting from the 18th century till the present times. It comprises of paintings, sculptures, graphic prints and examples of early photography in India. The museum remains closed on Mondays and holidays.

10. Indian Military Museum
Indian Military Museum, also known as the National Military Memorial Park was established to honor the men and families of martyrs of the Armed forces who died post-independence. The museum was inaugurated in 2013 and showcases military and defense systems & equipment.

11. Kempegowda Museum
Kempegowda Museum was established in the year 2011, in the memory of the founder of Bengaluru, Yelahanka chieftain Kempegowda. Located on the first floor of Mayo Hall, the museum has statues, posters, pictures of temples and forts from his era.

12. Janapada Loka Museum (Folk Art Museum)
Janapada Loka translates to 'Folk World', and as the name suggests, is dedicated to promoting, preserving and propagating the very vibrant folk art and culture. It is located in the Ramanagara District, just off 53 km from the Bengaluru - Mysore Highway. The Karnataka Janapada Parishath took up the initiative of establishing Janapada Loka, not only to conserve the slowly diminishing ar but to educate and inspire the generations with its poise, power and sheer beauty.

13. Legends Motorcycling Cafe and Museum
A paradise for motorcycle aficionados, this innovative cafe displays 20 plus vintage motorcycles from around the world.

Legends Motorcycling Cafe and Museum
Pulkeshi Nagar, Pulikeshi Nagar,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560005

14. Shaswati Women's Museum
Shashwati Women's Museum, located within N.M.K.R.V. College showcases arts and artifacts depicting the life of women in India through the ages. Displays include tools used by women for household chores, examples of women’s art, handicrafts, ornaments, and means of infant care.

15. Amma Saraswati Loka – P.D. Ravindra’s Museum
Amma Saraswati Loka is a quaint self-made museum located in Banashankari 2nd stage. This museum features nearly 50 exhibits in a hall about 1,600 sq. ft. in size. This is a unique museum that is open to all, free of charge and is especially popular with schoolchildren and teachers looking at explaining science beyond the books. If you wish to visit PD Ravindra’s museum, call him on 9482514883 and book an appointment between 12:00 to 05:30 PM on Sundays. Entry is free but you need to make a prior appointment.

Apart from the museum, Ravindra has also set up a unique roof garden in the same building which he has named Amma Saraswati Loka which mixes science, spirituality, arts and nature in an attractive way to appeal to children. Besides housing more than 100 plants, the roof garden is also home to more than 80 exhibits such as Movable Nest, Solar System, Magic Mirror, Magnetic Repulsion and more.

16. Wood Museum and Interpretation Centre
Wood Museum and Interpretation Centre at Malleshwaram showcases wood and traces the centrality of wood to civilizations. Displays include a 780-year-old giant tree trunk and wooden tools. You can also learn and understand how wood from different trees are different in weight and learn about seeds. Detailed posters throughout the exhibit present trivia and facts about wood. Wood Museum is open from Monday to Friday, 09:00 AM - 05:30 PM.

Institute of Wood Science and Technology,
18th Cross, Malleshwaram, Bangalore - 560003
Phone Number: +91-80-22190101, 23340529

17. Heritage Packaging Museum
Manjushree Heritage Museum of Packaging and Design showcases the evolution of packaging in the 20th Century. You can find curious collectibles from yesteryears displayed in pristine condition like Gramophone records of Lata Mangeshkar packed in a two-color printed paperboard, a tin case of Cadbury Fry chocolate and many others.

Heritage Packaging Museum
Manjushree Technopack Ltd, Unit II 143 C-5,
Bommasandra Industrial Area, Hosur Road - 560099
Phone Number: 08071 116 200

18. Madras Sappers Museum & Archives
Founded in 1803, the Madras engineers Group is one of the oldest regiments of the Indian army and the Museum houses artifacts relating to their history. There are interesting pieces of armoury, medals and attires that are worth a look. You need permission to visit this museum.