Government Museum Complex
Government Museum Complex located at Pantheon road between Egmore and Anna Salai in Chennai spans over an area of 16.25 acres. Earlier known as Pantheon Complex during the British period, the center was inaugurated in 1856. The museum has departments of National History and Art. The most attractive feature of the museum is the extraordinary collection of over 2000 Indian bronzes and Amaravathi marbles bearing testimony to the Buddhist period, 2nd century AD. The campus houses the Museum Theatre, the Extension hall and the Connemara Public Library, which are deemed as buildings of exceptional architectural value. In its present form, the Museum has a number of sections, altogether making 46 galleries spread across six independent buildings. Displayed in four galleries, segments including Hindu sculpture gallery, the Amaravathi gallery, the Bronze gallery and the National art gallery are the principal attractions. The museum is kept open for the visitors on all days except Fridays and national holidays. The timings are from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for entry can be purchased at the Main Entrance and also at the Contemporary Art Gallery between 9.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. The museum also makes free Guide Service is available at 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.
Fort St. George which houses the Secretariat of Tamil Nadu state also houses a museum that has a number of fascinating items on display that belong to the early period of the British East India company and the colonial times. The center was established on January 1948, housing a rare and interesting collection of objects depicting the British era given by the then Madras Presidency Government, St. Mary’s Church and disbanded army units and the Madras Government Museum. The Fort Museum has 10 galleries with more than 3,600 historic and artistic pieces on display. As a visitor enters the center, he will find a tall marble statue of Lord Cornwallis standing along with the two captive sons of Tipu Sultan. The museum has on display some old uniforms, padlocks, weapons, coins, old prints and palanquins. The banquet hall located upstairs offers a collection of paintings of the governors and officials of the British rule. The center is at present maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India and is kept open for visitors from Saturday to Thursday between 10 am and 5 pm.