Jerusha Jose, III Year B.V.A. Fine Arts
In the midst of the whistling wind through the red stone buildings, the overpowering smell of bats, the empty stares of the residents of the statue garden, lays The Madras Museum, located in the heart of Egmore.
Started in 1851, it is the second oldest museum in India after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. It is particularly rich in archaeological and numismatic collections. It has the largest collection of Roman antiquities outside Europe. Among them, the colossal Museum Theatre is one of the most impressive. The National Art Gallery is also present in the museum premises. Built in Indo-Saracenic style, it houses rare works of artists like Raja Ravi Varma.
If you could spare an hour to peruse, I would to be honoured to share my top ten picks of must-sees at the Egmore museum.
10) Nolamba Sculptures – These sculptures are gorgeous and a good way to establish the royal Hindu timeline.
9) Bronzes Gallery – From Natarajas to sleeping Buddhas, this gallery has got it all. Plus, if you sit there for a day, you are bound to see an overly-enthusiastic, if not adorable, tourist visit this famed gallery.
8) Thanjavur Armoury – A really cool exhibit if you are into weaponry and wars.
7) Anthropology Exhibits – A great place to learn more on those 7th grade history lessons on Mohenjadaro and Harappa, and learn it more effectively.
6) Jain and Buddhist Sculptures – These cool marble statues are rather therapeutic to the burning heat…errr…heart.
5) Sati Stones – Heard of the social evil, Sati, right? These stones stand in memorial of those women gave up their lives to society’s obligation and pressure.
4) Copper Plates – A little ambiguous on the functional side, these pretty plates are a visual treat for anyone interested in art.
3) Numismatics Section – Money, Money, everywhere. P.S: this place does have tight security.
2) Art Gallery – Some of Raja Ravi Varma’s masterpieces are housed here. It is a must-see for anyone, whether a Chennai-ite or not, artsy or not.
1) Cannons – My personal favourite, these British cannons are majestic and cool to check out.
Visiting the museum isn’t just ‘Nerd’s Day Out’, some exhibits are pretty amazing and help us understand the art and culture of South India that we should take pride in.
[Photography Source: Internet]