Shimla State Museum, Himachal Pradesh
A number of Museums and Art Gallery dot the land of Himachal Pradesh. These Museums and Art Galleries preserve the rich historical and cultural heritage of the state with utmost sincerity and take care that the rich legacy of past is not washed away with the tides of time. A visit to these Museums and Art Galleries will introduce you to this past that has shaped up the present state of Himachal.
Shimla State Museum
Shimla State Museum, opened in 1974, is located atop a hill in a
typical colonial building called Inveraram. It is bit of a work to
reach the museum since it requires a hike of 1500 m. Still, once you
are there, you will not regret putting in so much of effort, for there
is a large collection of exquisite items (around 2000), waiting to
greet you. There are ancient historical sculptures, paintings, coins,
photos and numerous other items from all over the state as well as
outside it. However, what is most exciting to see is the pahari
miniature paintings. These paintings were the last to develop in north
India before the British took control of the region. There is also a
library here which houses a good collection of historical books and
The Museum is open between 10 am to 1.30 pm and then from 2 to 5 pm everyday except Mondays and second Saturday of every month..
Kangra Art Gallery
This Art Gallery is located in the main shopping centre of Dharamshala, Kotwali Bazaar. The gallery was inaugurated in the year 1990 and is open from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening. The collection of the gallery include of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Apart from this other items on display include embroidered costumes, woodcarvings and jewelleries of the tribal people along with shamianas used by the local royalty, jali's, pandals and lintels. A section of the gallery highlights the works of contemporary artists and photographers while yet another section houses a library.
Bhuri Singh Museum
This museum is named after the ruler of Chamba who was in charge of
the region during the period of 1904 to 1919. The museum was opened in
the year 1908 , however the building you see today was constructed in
the year 1975. Items on display include the family paintings of Bhuri
Singh, embroidered Chamba rumaals, coins, hill jewellery and costumes-
both traditional and royal, arms and armour, musical instruments and
numerous decorative objects. The Chamba rumaals will hold your
attention a lot since their design were made by the pahari painters
but the embroidery itself was done by the household ladies. There are
also carved doors from old palaces and frescoes to be seen.
The museum is open from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening everyday except Mondays. It is also closed on the Gazetted holidays.
Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery
Located in Naggar in the Kullu district of Himachal, the Roerich Art
Gallery is named after a Russian who settled down at Naggar after the
revolution of 1917. The gallery displays his as well as his son's art
work. His paintings depict deep mountains. Apart from the painting,
there are also few photographs to be seen in the museum where he poses
along with respected visiting dignitaries like former Indian Prime
Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru.
The museum is open from 9 am to 1 pm and then from 2 to 5 pm. There is a small entry fee of around 10 rupees charged at the entrance.
Uruswati Himalayan Folk Art Museum
A little distance away from the Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery is the
Uruswati Himalayan Folk Art Museum. This museum is located on the
estate of Roerich and has tall deodar trees surrounding it. This
museum was established by Madame Nicholas Roerich in 1928 and houses a
pretty decent collection of local folk art, costumes, Roerich
paintings and paintings by his Russian disciples. There is also a
small gallery featuring Russian folk art. If you are interested in
knowing more about Roerich and his work, then there is a counter
selling postcards and few books on his works.
Even if the collection of the museum does not seem inspiring for you, you can very well visit it because the walk to the museum and the serene surrounding there is tremendously delightful. The museum is open from 9 am to 1 pm and then from 2 to 5 pm. A small entry fee of rupees ten is charged at the entrance.
Library of Tibetan Work and Archives
The Library of Tibetan Work and Archives is the result of the vision
of the His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The Library is
located within the premises of the compound of the Tibetan
Government-in-Exile in Mc Leodganj in Dharamshala. The exhibits of the
library include 80,000 manuscripts, books and documents, hundreds of
thangkas, statues and other artifacts, 6,000 photographs and other
The library, basically is a centre that aims to preserve and spread the Tibetan culture. It also aims to create an environment where knowledge is exchanged without any restrictions between students and scholars.
The timing of the library varies a bit at different time of the year. Between the months of April to September it is open from 9 am to 5. 30 pm while between October to March, the timings are reduced by half an hour in the evening, that is it is between 9 am to 5 pm.
Sobha Singh Art Gallery
This art centre is housed in the cottage of the renowned painter Shobha Singh who has been conferred upon with many rewards and recognitions. He has also been the proud recipient of the Punjab's art council's highest award as well as the the prestigious Padam Shri. The gallery displays his paintings of Sikh Gurus, Sri Krishna, Sri Rama, Sheikh Farid and Jesus Christ.