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    Arts & Crafts in Delhi
    The National Museum, New Delhi as we see it today in the majestic building on the corner of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road is the prime museum in the country. The blue-print for establishing the National Museum in Delhi had been prepared by the Gwyer Committee set up by the Government of India in 1946. When an Exhibition of Indian Art consisting of selected artifacts from various museums of India, sponsored by the Royal Academy (London) with the co-operation of the Government of India and Britain, was on display in the galleries of Burlington House, London during the winter months of 1947- 48, it was decided to display the same collection under a single roof in Delhi before the return of exhibits to their respective museums. Accordingly, the exhibition was held in the state rooms of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi in 1949, and it turned out to be a great success. In turn, the event proved responsible for the creation of National Museum. On the auspicious day of the 15th August, 1949, the National Museum was formally inaugurated by the Governor General of India, Shri R.C. Rajagopalachari, and it was announced that till a permanent building for housing the National Museum was constructed, the Museum would continue to function in the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Government also felt to retain the exhibits on show to form the holdings of the National Museum and the plan was sent to all the participants of London Exhibition. While some agreed with the idea, others asked for the return of their artifacts, and what was left behind in fact formed the nucleus of the collection of Museum. It continued to be looked after well by the Director General of Archaeology until the Ministry of Education, the Government of India declared it a separate institution and placed it under its own direct control. The Museum continued to grow in its collections that were sought painstakingly. It received several gifts but artifacts were collected mainly through its Art Purchase Committee. In the meanwhile, the foundation of the present building was laid by Pt. J.L. Nehru, Prime Minister of India, on the 12th May, 1955 and the new building where works of art were displayed elegantly on scientific lines was handed over to Museum authorities in June, 1960. The Museum was formally thrown open to the public on December 18, 1960. And it is now within the administrative control and fully financed by the Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The Museum has in its possession approximately 2,00,000 works of exquisite art of diverse nature, both Indian and foreign and its holdings cover a time span of more than five thousand years of our cultural heritage. While the splendid chronological display of selected art objects in the various galleries, screening of educational films related to art and culture, guided tours, gallery talks by the experts, special lectures and training programs, facilities for photography and access to the reserve collection and library for the study, and advice on identification of art objects have brought immense laurels to the Museum, the conservation laboratory had made its existence felt even in other countries. The art exhibitions sent abroad from the National Museum have further enhanced the image of Indian art and culture throughout the world. A variety of publications brought out by the Museum during the last 36 years have been appreciated by one and all. However, a guide to the National Museum has been in great demand among the visitors and all of its earlier editions have been sold out. Keeping in view the demand of visitors, the National Museum has planned to bring out this revised guide for the benefit of visitors.

    As the seat of empires for centuries, and with royalty as patrons, Delhi has long been a cultural center, attracting the best of painters, musicians and dancers. Though today's patrons have changed, Delhi is more than ever the cultural capital of the country, and is also visited by foreign dancers, musicians and theatre groups en route to the Far East.

    October to March is the "cultural season" of Delhi, during which time a plethora of events take place in the fields of the visual and performing arts. The best of the performing arts representing the range of classical dance forms and schools of music from all over India can be viewed at Kamani Auditorium, the Chamber Theatre at Triveni Kala Sagam, FICCI Auditorium, the India International Center, Siri Fort, LTG Auditorium, Pragati Maidan and Sri Ram Centre, where Delhites can enjoy the privilege of seeing, and listening to, the legendary gurus as well as their disciples.

    Music lovers look forward to the Shankarlal, Dhrupad and Tansen Festivals in February and March and the Vishnu Digamber Festival in August, at which India's greatest musicians perform Roshanara Festivals of music and dance organized by Delhi Tourism.

    October witnesses the popular Qutub Festivals where reputed musicians and dancers offer captivating renditions with the Qutub Minar as the backdrop. Film buffs eagerly await the National Film Festivals and the bi-annual International Film Festival, held in January. Apart from commercial cinema houses, films are periodically screened at the Max Mueller Bhawan, the Alliance Francaise, the Japan Cultural Centre, the British Council Division, the Russian Centre for Science and Cultural and the Hungarian Information Centre.

    Theatre in Delhi receives a constant impetus from the presence of the National School Of Drama. The variety offered ranges from Hindi translations of European plays, to regional theatre, as well as folk forms. Delhi's numerous art galleries reflect the country's burgeoning art scene. Well-known and new artists from all over the country display their works in these galleries. Notices of exhibitions are given in daily newspapers and specific city magazines.

    Among the active galleries are Art Heritage, Triveni Art Gallery, Sridharani Gallery, Art Today, Vadehra Art Gallery, Eicher Gallery, Gallery 42, Dhoomi Mal Art Centre, Gallery Escape, Lalit Kala Akademi, LGT Gallery, Gallery Ganesha, Gallery steps, AIFACS, Max Mueller Photo Gallery, British Council Divisio Gallery, Gallery Romain Rolland, Khirkee Gallery, the Village Gallery and at times the American Centre.

    Traditional crafts, too have long been practiced in Delhi. The city was particularly well known for its silver and gold enameling, and zari or embroidery in gold thread. Master-craftersmen in both crafts still live in the Walled City where there are also miniature painters.

    Delhi also has fine potters, wooden toy makes, kite makers and lacquer craftsmen. In Old Delhi it is not unusual to come upon a traditional workshop. The wealth of Indian handicrafts can be enjoyed at the Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan, at the State Emporia on Baba Kharak singh Marg, and at Dilli Haat, which is Delhi Tourism's popular venue for crafts bazaars throughout the year.

    National Museum
    Male Head, Kalibangan, c.2700BC

    The Rail Transport Museum is a must for rail buffs. Its vintage display includes the oldest locomotive in the world-still working; the Viceregal Dinning Car (1889) and the Prince of Wales Saloon (1876). Children can enjoy a ride on the miniature rail track.

    The Nehru Memorial Museum is at Teen Murti House where Jawaharlal Nehru lived for 16 years till his death in 1964. its special charm is that the rooms have been preserved as they were. Not far from here is the Indira Gandhi Memorial where one gets a glimpse of the life of the late Late Prime Minister.

    The Gandhi Memorial Museum has a collection of memorabilia on Mahatma Gandhi. The Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan has galleries displaying India's rich tradition of handicrafts. An added attraction is the presence of craftsperson who are bought here from different parts of the country to demonstrate their skills. In this central part of the city are also located the National Philatelic Museum of Natural History, Mandi House, and the Malliah on Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg.

    The Tibet House Museum on Lodi Road has a fine collection of tankhas, jewellery and ritual objects. En route to Old Delhi are the Shankar's Dolls Museum of Archeology related to the Mughal era, and the Museum of Arms and Weapons which traces the development of arms from the Mughal age to the First World War.

     National Museum
     National Museum of Natural History
     Archeological Museum
     Rail Transport Museum
     National Gallery of Modern Art
     Crafts Museum
     National Children's Museum
     Shankar's International Dolls Museum
     Tibet House Museum
     Gandhi Memorial Museum
     Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

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    City guide to Delhi and New Delhi with information on travel, transport, shopping, cheap flights, airports, hotel booking, sights, attractions, events and more