Known to locals as Jadu Ghar, the Indian Museum houses upwards of 100,000 items. Visitors can trace the history, art, zoology, and geography of India from the Stone Age to modern times across galleries showcasing antique coins, archaeological finds, mounted animals, Mughal art, and more.
The museum is one of Kolkata’s signature sights and features on nearly all city tours—with most allowing around an hour for you to roam the galleries with a guide to ensure you view the highlights, or independently. If you’re keen to explore the collections further, consider a customizable private tour that lets you tailor your itinerary to allow just that—adding more time at the museum if it’s possible.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Indian Museum is an essential destination for history, culture, and nature enthusiasts.
- Purchase a camera permit at the museum entrance if you want to take photos.
- Visitor bags are security-screened and you’ll need to check in backpacks and medium-sized bags at the ticket counter.
- Many exhibits aren’t captioned, so be prepared for some guesswork.
- The museum is partially wheelchair-accessible, with lifts and ramps to some areas.
- A basic canteen, drinking water fountains, and rest rooms are available.
How to Get There
The Indian Museum is in Kolkata’s Park Street area, on Jawaharlal Nehru Road. Take advantage of private tours that include round-trip transfers to and from the museum if you want to skip public transport or walking in Kolkata’s heat. Otherwise, book a cab at the entrance or take the metro to the nearest station, Park Street. Cabs are available at the station.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily, except on India’s public holidays. Opening times are 10am–5pm March-November, and 10am–4:30pm December to February. The museum can get busy, particularly at weekends, so consider arriving early or visiting on a weekday if possible.
Must-Sees at the Indian Museum Among the museum’s unmissable exhibits are a whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling, a fossilized dinosaur egg, a 4,000-year-old Egyptian mummy, and an urn reputedly containing the Buddha’s ashes. If you’re exploring with children, be aware that they may find some items disturbing—such as pickled human embryos and preserved baby animals.
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