|1851 colonial building Govt. Museum and theater, ChennaiAlamy|
The Government Museum, Madras, in the suburb of Egmore, Chennai is the second oldest museum in India after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. The museum complex has six buildings and 46 galleries on a huge plot of about 16.25 acres (66,000 m²). The objects on display in the museum cover a variety of artifacts and objects that come under diverse fields, such as archeology, numismatics, zoology, natural history, earth sciences, sculptures, palm-leaf manuscripts and Amravati paintings. Also included are the largest collection of Roman antiquities outside Europe and rare works of artists like Raja Ravi Varma.
The growth of this museum began with a gift of collection of 1,100 geological specimens by the Madras Literary Society to the Government in 1851. The museum moved into this building in 1854; earlier it was on College Road in Nungambakkam in the year 1851. It was the first government sponsored museum in India with 20,000 freely gifted specimens ranging from rocks to books.
|The Museum complex by Willie Burke, c. 1905n.wikipedia.org/|
|Canons at the museum complex, Chennai. en.wikipedia.org|
The Madras zoo was here on the vast museum grounds from 1855 till 1863. In the early 1980s it was shifted to near by Vandaloor.