It is situated at Janpath on Maulana Azad Road. For those who like Indian history and culture, this is a one-stop shop where one can find the numerous aspects of various cultures in the subcontinent. The specimens and the art works portray about 5000 years of Indian culture. A grand-looking three-storied building hosts the museum. The museum contains a mind-boggling number of ancient and modern painting, sculptures, archaeological relics, ancient manuscripts, and various other types of materials that denote various cultures. National museum was established in 1949. The groundwork for creating a museum had started earlier. A committee set up by the British government before the independence recommended the creation of such a museum for exhibiting the Indian art forms and culture. Later several Indian art forms and artifacts were sent to an exhibition on Indian art conducted by Royal Academy and British Government in London in 1947. When these artifacts and exhibits were returned from London, a similar exhibition using the same items was conducted in Rashtrapathi Bhavan (the official residence of the Indian President), New Delhi.
The exhibition turned out to be a big success, with enthusiastic participation from the crowd. So, the organizers decided to make the museum in the hall of Rashtrapathi Bhavan a permanent facility. Thus the National Museum was born. It was inaugurated by C. Rajagopalachari, the then Governor General of India, on August 15, 1949, the second anniversary of Indian independence. It was moved to its present building on 1960, which was specifically constructed for this purpose where the artefacts and art works can be scientifically stored and where public has a chance to view these works of art. The museum was formally opened for public on December 18, 1960.
In National Museum, the paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and other relics are arranged systematically in a chronological order. It is estimated that the museum contains over 200,000 artworks from various parts of the country. An art purchase committee was set up by the museum authorities to obtain various kinds of art works. Occasionally, people also contribute valuable items to the museum. At present, the museum has grown from a mere exhibition place to being a cultural centre where several educational programs, seminars, and audio-video programs are conducted. Apart from the vast collection archaeological material even from other South Asian countries, the museum offers various other services such as culture-related publications, library and restoration and preservation of archival material.
National Museum in Delhi is open on all days except on Monday. The visiting time is 10 AM to 5 PM. The entry fee is Rupees 10 for Indian citizens. Students will get concession. They need to pay only one rupee for admission. If you want the audio description of the exhibits, which is available in various languages such as English, French, German, Japanese, and Hindi, one needs to pay Rupees 150 extra. For foreigners the charge inclusive of audio charges is Rupees 300. For using camera, one has to pay extra charges: Rupees 10 for Indian citizens and Rupees 300 for foreigners.