Government Museum of Chennai lies off the Pantheon Road in the Egmore region of the city suburbs. The museum is one of the prime attractions in the city. It is one of the first government sponsored museum in Indian sub continent. The museum is one great tourist destination in the state of Tamil Nadu, besides popular temples and monuments.
The Government Museum was initially housed in the College of Fort St. George. In the same era an elite British group, by the name of Pantheon Committee, was working to improve the social life of expatriates in the city. To carry out their mission the Pantheon group constructed a group of buildings. These buildings were spread over an area of about 16.25 acres. The Government Museum expanded vigorously and needed a new place. It was year 1851 when the museum was moved into the buildings constructed by the committee. The museum, at present, consists of a number of sections holding some rare collections throughout the continent.
The Government Museum is the first such institution to be established by the government. The museum at Chennai contains some of the priced collections in Asia. The museum makes up a grand repository encompassing art gallery, theatre, public library and more. The museum complex has been divided into various sections based on certain defined fields. These sections include Geology, Archeology, Anthropology, Numismatics, Botany, Zoology and Sculpture.
The galleries of the museum house real treasures and are worth a peek. There are four galleries in all, which are- Hindu Sculpture Gallery, Bronze Gallery, Amravathi Gallery and the National Art Gallery. The bronze sculptures are exceptional featuring masterpieces like bronzes of Nataraja, Durga, Ganesha, all belonging to the Chola Empire.
The objects considered to belong to industrial arts are fascinating. Wood carving, ivory work, metal carving and inlay work is presented by the collection of industrial arts. A rich collection of coins belonging to different historical periods are housed in the Numismatics section. The Archeological section contains 400 objects of art.
Besides the popular sections there is one section dedicated to the children. The Children's museum is meant to inculcate curiosity level and better understanding of various existing phenomena. Some galleries of Children's Museum include Civilization Gallery, the Transportation Gallery and the Kids Corner.