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Museums in Chandigarh you can explore this monsoon

Don’t let rains drive you indoors, step out and explore the museums in Chandigarh with an eclectic mix of artefacts ranging from ancient Gandhara sculptures and Pahari paintings to Le Corbusier’s designs, Nathuram Godse’s handcuffs and Dutch dolls. Hindustan Times photojournalist SANJEEV SHARMA takes you on a photographic tour.

punjab Updated: Jun 30, 2017 13:08 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Museums in Chandigarh,Le Corbusier,International Dolls Museum
A 12th century AD sculpture of Jian goddess Padmavati.(Sanjeev Sharma/HT Photo)

The Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10

• Timings:9.45am to 4.30pm (Tuesday to Sunday)

Outside view of the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh ( Sanjeev Sharma/HT )

The Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, is part of the series of three museums of Unlimited Growth designed by Le Corbusier, the other two being Sanskar Kendra, Ahmedabad, and Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. The museum has a rich collection of Gandharan sculptures, Pahari and Rajasthani miniature paintings. Before the Partition, the collection of art objects, paintings, sculptures and decorative arts, was housed in the Central Museum, Lahore the then capital of Punjab. It was declared a Grade-I heritage building by the UT administration in 2013.

Second century standing Bhodisttava figure (L), and 17th century miniature painting of Darwar of Emperor Shahjahan. ( Sanjeev Sharma/HT )

The building is divided into three levels. The first level comprises the textile section, child art gallery, exhibition hall, reserve collection stores, conservation laboratory and auditorium. Level 2 houses Gandhara sculptures, Indian miniature paintings, stone and metal sculptures, coins and Indian contemporary art. Level 3 has the library, and Gandhara sculptures’ reserve collection.

Chandigarh Architecture Museum, Sector 10

Housed within the Government Museum and Art Gallery complex, this museum traces the construction of the planned city through a series of diorama, model and blueprint exhibits. Its angular design is a copy of the Exhibition Pavilion in Zurich and was meant as a tribute to Chandigarh’s city architect, Le Corbusier.

Model of proposed governor palace at Chandigarh Architecture Museum. ( Sanjeev Sharma/HT )

Venture inside this minimalist edifice to see the exhibits of Le Corbusier’s original sketches and models of Chandigarh, designed to be an energy efficient and nature-motivated “green city.”

A model of a dinosaur at Natural History Museum. ( Sanjeev Sharma/HT Photo )

Natural History Museum

Check out the fossil exhibits and displays chronicling the evolution of man, from Australopithecines to Homo erectus. Nearby, the National Gallery of Portraits features a panorama of photographs that depict freedom fighters for Indian independence.

Dolls from Spain at International Dolls Museum. ( Sanjeev Sharma/HT )

International Dolls Museum, Bal Bhawan, Sector 23

• Timing: 10 am to 5 pm (except Sundays and holidays)

Set up as an entertainment hub for kids, the International Dolls Museum has 300 different kinds of dolls, collected from Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Korea and Russia. It also provides an insight into the cultural ethnicity of India, through dolls depicting the popular dance forms of India. Dolls also depict famous characters such as Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Ali Baba and Snow White.

Outside view of Dolls Museum at Rock Garden in Chandigarh. ( Keshav Singh/HT Photo )

Dolls Museum at Rock Garden

Inaugurated on the second death anniversary of Rock Garden creator Nek Chand, the museum comprises 200 rag dolls made from waste cloth by Nek Chand in 1970s. The look and feel of the museum is inspired by a village with artificial trees and huts. The rural life is showcased through these dolls in this museum.

A scene of a court room at High Court Museum, Chandigarh. ( Sanjeev Sharma/HT )

High Court Museum

• Timings: All days (9.30 am to 5pm)

• Entry fee:Free

• Photography: Allowed

The museum is home to judgments and court records of historic importance like Bhagat Singh trial at Lahore, arrest of Dr. Kitchlew, creation of the post of Chief Justice, arrest of Pt Jawahar lal Nehru, etc. Besides this, it also showcases items like Nathu Ram Godse’s handcuffs and a copy of the original Constitution of India signed by constituent committee besides many old stamps of the era.

The museum has also recreated an old courtroom with all the old equipment like stamp, heater, sofas, pen stand, typewriter and calendar etc.

Le Corbusier Centre

• Timings: 10 am to 4pm

This minimalistic building on Madhya Marg in Sector 19 is a tribute to Le Corbusier, the architect who designed the city. If you want to find how where he worked and how, do pay it a visit.

First Published: Jun 30, 2017 13:00 IST