Chennai

The Egmore Museum, Chennai

The Government Museum, Egmore, Chennai

The Government Museum, Chennai is a must place to go if you are in the city – till a few years ago, it was maintained poorly, but thanks to Government initiatives and capable officers, nowadays it is looking better. The museum is spread across six buildings and it houses a variety of galleries – Archaeology, Zoology, Numismatics, Natural History, Bronze, Paintings, Children, Culture, Music and more. Started in 1851, it is the second oldest museum in India after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. You can check out the posts on my earlier visits to the museum in 2010 and 2014.

The entry ticket is ₹30 and the ticket for using your camera (including your mobile) is ₹200. As per the ticket, the museum is open from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM on all days except Fridays and national holidays.

I visited the museum today to see a special exhibition that’s happening from 11.Jan.2018 to 12.Feb.2018. Titled Iyal Isai Museum, rare musical instruments and dance sculptures from the museum’s archives are being exhibited for public viewing. Next week for the finale, cultural events and talks are planned, on the same title. Below is a photo blog on my visit today.

Iyal Isai Museum - 11 Jan 2018 to 12 Feb 2018

Iyal Isai Museum – 11 Jan 2018 to 12 Feb 2018

Virkodi Yazh (விற்கொடி யாழ்). Origin: 2000 years ago. This hunters bow shaped yazh is said to be the precursor of all varieties of yazh. மரம்-கொன்றை தணக்கு கருங்காலி குமிழ் நரம்பு மரல் (பாம்புச் செடி).

தொல் தமிழ் நரம்பிசைக் கருவிகள்: 1)Senkottu Yazh (செங்கோடு யாழ்), has 7 strings. 2)Eruthu Yazh (எருது யாழ்), shaped like an ox. 3)Magara Yazh (மகர யாழ்), shaped like a flash. 4)Peacock Yazh (மயில் யாழ்).

தொல் தமிழ் நரம்பிசைக் கருவிகள்: 1) Senkottu Yazh (செங்கோடு யாழ்), has 7 strings. 2) Eruthu Yazh (எருது யாழ்), shaped like an Ox. 3)Magara Yazh (மகர யாழ்), shaped like a flash. 4)Peacock Yazh (மயில் யாழ்).

கோயில் இசை, காற்று இசைக் கருவி: Conch (சங்கு), most ancient wind instrument known to man. Year of acquisition: 1903.

கோயில் இசை, காற்று இசைக் கருவி: Conch (சங்கு), most ancient wind instrument known to man. Year of acquisition: 1903.

Ancient musical instruments exhibit

Ancient musical instruments exhibit

Vichitra Veena (விசித்திர வீணை). Origin: 3000 years ago. Hindustani Music. பலா வாகை மரம் கரைக்காய்.

Vichitra Veena (விசித்திர வீணை). Origin: 3000 years ago. Hindustani Music. பலா வாகை மரம் கரைக்காய்.

Top-Naga Veena (நாகை வீணை). The wood of jackfruit tree, Vaagai tree, bottle gourd tree.Shaped like a cobra snake. Bottom-Kachyapa Veena (கச்யப வீணை). Shaped like a tortoise.

Top-Naga Veena (நாகை வீணை). The wood of jackfruit tree, Vaagai tree, bottle gourd tree.Shaped like a cobra snake. Bottom-Kachyapa Veena (கச்யப வீணை). Shaped like a tortoise.

Left-Kinnari (கின்னரி) finds mention in 13th century epic Sangeeta Ratnakara by Srangadeva. Right-Tuntina (துந்தினா). மூங்கில் மற்றும் மரம், உலோகம், காகிதத் தோல். Played while singing kirtans. West India's Bhil, Kukna, Worli and Gondoli Tribals.

Left-Kinnari (கின்னரி) finds mention in 13th-century epic Sangeeta Ratnakara by Srangadeva. Right-Tuntina (துந்தினா). மூங்கில் மற்றும் மரம், உலோகம், காகிதத் தோல். Played while singing kirtans. West India’s Bhil, Kukna, Worli and Gondoli Tribals.

 Swarabat (ஸ்வரபத்) . Origin: 1500 years. மரம், பட்டு நூல் நரம்பு. The head is carved down into the shape of a parrot, also called as Swaragat.

Swarabat (ஸ்வரபத்). Origin: 1500 years. மரம், பட்டு நூல் நரம்பு. The head is carved down into the shape of a parrot, also called as Swaragat.

Mayuri (மயூரி) , Origin:500 years. North India. Hindustani. Shape of a peacock. Called 'Taus' in Persian. Sounds like a peacock call. Used to recite Guru Granth Sahib's Shabad Keeran.

Mayuri (மயூரி), Origin:500 years. North India. Hindustani. The shape of a peacock. Called ‘Taus’ in Persian. Sounds like a peacock call. Used to recite Guru Granth Sahib’s ‘Shabad Keeran’.

1) Burmese Saung (பர்மிய சாங்). Origin: 1500 years. மரம், மான் தோல், பட்டு நூலில் நரம்புகள். 2) Swara Mandal (ஸ்வரமண்டல்). Cedar Wood. Has 21-36 strings.3)Peacock Yazh (மயில் யாழ்).

1) Burmese Saung (பர்மிய சாங்). Origin: 1500 years. மரம், மான் தோல், பட்டு நூலில் நரம்புகள். 2) Swara Mandal (ஸ்வரமண்டல்). Cedar Wood. Has 21-36 strings.3)Peacock Yazh (மயில் யாழ்).

 1) Rubab (ரபாப்), Origin:1400 years, Afghanistan ethnic music. Mulberry Wood. First musical instrument played by Sikhs. 2) Esraj (எஸ்ராஜ்),Origin:300 years,a variant of Dilruba introduced by 10th Sikh Guru-Guru Govind. 3) Sarangi (சாரங்கி), Origin:500 years, Tun Wood, Goat Skin & Horse Tail hair. 4) Sitar (சித்தார்), Origin:500 years, Burmese teak, metal, bottle gourd. Cethar in Persian means three strings.

1) Rubab (ரபாப்), Origin:1400 years, Afghanistan ethnic music. Mulberry Wood. First musical instrument played by Sikhs. 2) Esraj (எஸ்ராஜ்), Origin:300 years, a variant of Dilruba introduced by 10th Sikh Guru-Guru Govind. 3) Sarangi (சாரங்கி), Origin:500 years, Tun Wood, Goat Skin & Horse Tail hair. 4) Sitar (சித்தார்), Origin:500 years, Burmese teak, metal, bottle gourd. Cethar in Persian means three strings.

Mridangam (மிருதங்கம்) , Origin: 2000 years. Carnatic Music. Percussion instrument. This mridangam was used by maestro Thiru Palghat T.S.Mani Iyer (1912-1981).

Mridangam (மிருதங்கம்), Origin: 2000 years. Carnatic Music. Percussion instrument. This mridangam was used by maestro Thiru Palghat T.S.Mani Iyer (1912-1981).

1)Tappu (தப்பு, பறை) , Origin: 2000 years. Originated in Tamil Nadu, seen as a symbol of Tamil culture. மாட்டு தோல் மற்றும் உலோகம், வேப்ப மரச்சட்டம், மூங்கில் மற்றும் பூவரச குச்சிகள். 2) Panchamugavadyam (பஞ்சமுக வாத்தியம்), Origin: 2000 years. Bronze & Animal skin. Metal drum with five faces played only at Tiruvarur Thiyagara Temple. Each face has a distinct sound. 3) Nagara (நகரா), Origin: 700 years. Played during wars. Ranjit Nagara is played in Gurdwaras to announce closing for the day and to call for Langar feast. Beats the drum with two curved sticks.

1)Tappu (தப்பு, பறை), Origin: 2000 years. Originated in Tamil Nadu, seen as a symbol of Tamil culture. மாட்டு தோல் மற்றும் உலோகம், வேப்ப மரச்சட்டம், மூங்கில் மற்றும் பூவரச குச்சிகள். 2) Panchamugavadyam (பஞ்சமுக வாத்தியம்), Origin: 2000 years. Bronze & Animal skin. Metal drum with five faces played only at Tiruvarur Thiyagaraja Temple. Each face has a distinct sound. 3) Nagara (நகரா), Origin: 700 years. Played during wars. Ranjit Nagara is played in Gurdwaras to announce closing for the day and to call for Langar feast. Beats the drum with two curved sticks.

Left-Kashtatarang (காஷ்டதரங்கம்), Origin: 400 years. Rose Wood. North India. Similar to Xylophone. Right-Jalatarang (ஜலதரங்கம்), Origin: 2000 years.

Left-Kashtatarang (காஷ்டதரங்கம்), Origin: 400 years. Rose Wood. North India. Similar to Xylophone. Right-Jalatarang (ஜலதரங்கம்), Origin: 2000 years.

Look at the intricate stained glass work

Look at the colourful stained glass work

Intricate designs and glass work on the ceiling

Intricate designs and glass work on the ceiling

First Floor

First Floor

On the ceiling I found this fine art of Tamil Nadu State's emblem

On the ceiling, I found this fine art of Tamil Nadu State’s emblem

Tippu Sultan of Mysore's Cannon (பீரங்கி, மைசூர் திப்பு சுல்தான்)

Tippu Sultan of Mysore’s Cannon (பீரங்கி, மைசூர் திப்பு சுல்தான்)

Left-Gauntlet (கையுறை). Right-Axes

Left-Gauntlet (கையுறை). Right-Axes

Left-Saora Tribe of Vizak's belongings.Right-Boomerangs of Tamil Nadu (தமிழ்நாட்டு வளரிகள்), and I thought these were found only in Australia!

Left-Saora Tribe of Vizak’s belongings.Right-Boomerangs of Tamil Nadu (தமிழ்நாட்டு வளரிகள்), and I thought these were found only in Australia!

Votive offerings of Bhootha Shrine-South Canara, Karnataka (பூதக் கோவில் நேர்ச்சைப் பொருள்கள்). Brass Figurines.

Votive offerings of Bhootha Shrine-South Canara, Karnataka (பூதக் கோவில் நேர்ச்சைப் பொருள்கள்). Brass Figurines.

Left-Sesha Vahana model (சேஷ வாகனம்). The shape of a snake, vehicle of Lord Vishnu during festivals. Right-Vaishnavite Shrine, model made of Brass (வைணவ கோவில் சந்நித, பித்தளை)

Left-Sesha Vahana model (சேஷ வாகனம்). The shape of a snake, vehicle of Lord Vishnu during festivals. Right-Vaishnavite Shrine, the model made of Brass (வைணவ கோவில் சந்நி, பித்தளை)

National Gallery, Egmore Museum being repaired after decades. The foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales in 1905

National Gallery, Egmore Museum being repaired after decades. The foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales in 1905

Bronze Gallery: Somaskanda, Silattur, Tanjore-15th Century

Bronze Gallery: Somaskanda, Silattur, Tanjore-15th Century

Bronze Gallery: 1) Mahishasuramardini-Turaikkadu, Tiruvarur, sculpture has a flame-like hair. 2) Nataraja (நடராசர்), 10th century, Melaperumbalallam, Tanjore, dancing on apasmara over a lotus pedestal & two ganas near either side 3) Nataraja (நடராசர்), 10th century, Kunniyur, Tanjore, Anandatandava pose, supposed to be the first ever recorded bronze Nataraja of Chola period.

Bronze Gallery: 1) Mahishasuramardini-Turaikkadu, Tiruvarur, the sculpture has a flame-like hair. 2) Nataraja (நடராசர்), 10th century, Melaperumbalallam, Tanjore, dancing on apasmara over a lotus pedestal & two ganas near either side 3) Nataraja (நடராசர்), 10th century, Kunniyur, Tanjore, Anandatandava pose, supposed to be the first ever recorded bronze Nataraja of Chola period.

Left-Natesa,கண்கொடுத்தவனிதம், தஞ்சாவூர். 11th Century.

Left-Natesa,கண்கொடுத்தவனிதம், தஞ்சாவூர். 11th Century.

Decorative Ivory Boxes (யானை தந்தப்பேழைகள்)

Decorative Ivory Boxes (யானை தந்தப்பேழைகள்)

Intricate Ivory art, box showing various avatars of Lord Vishnu.

Intricate Ivory art, a box showing various avatars of Lord Vishnu.

These stunning portraits were painted by the British painters in India, during 18th and 19th centuries depict Governors, Governors-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Army of erstwhile British India.

These stunning portraits were painted by the British painters in India, during 18th and 19th centuries depict Governors, Governors-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Army of erstwhile British India.

Left-Lord Napier (1819-1898), Governor of Fort StGeorge (1866-1872).Right-Lord Connemara (1827-1902), Governor of Fort StGeorge (1886-1890).

Left-Lord Napier (1819-1898), Governor of Fort St.George (1866-1872).Right-Lord Connemara (1827-1902), Governor of Fort St.George (1886-1890).

Art gallery - Egmore Museum, Chennai

Art gallery – Egmore Museum, Chennai

Left-அரசரின் வீதி உலா, ஓவியர்: மா.முத்து. Right-Rambha (இரம்பா), ஓவியர்: இராஜா ரவி வர்மா.

Left-அரசரின் வீதி உலா, ஓவியர்: மா.முத்து. Right-Rambha (இரம்பா), ஓவியர்: இராஜா ரவி வர்மா.

Not be missed: Raja Ravi Varma Paintings, இராஜா ரவி வர்மா ஓவியங்கள். His depictions of Hindu deities are found, often as objects of worship.

Not be missed: Raja Ravi Varma Paintings, இராஜா ரவி வர்மா ஓவியங்கள். His depictions of Hindu deities are found, often as objects of worship.

Portrait of Raja Ravi Varma (29 April 1848 – 2 October 1906) was a celebrated Indian painter and artist. He is considered among the greatest painters in the history of Indian art, his works are held to be among the best examples of the fusion of European techniques with a purely Indian sensibility.

Self Portrait (Selfie) by Raja Ravi Varma (29 April 1848 – 2 October 1906) was a celebrated Indian painter and artist.

School kids happily playing after their excursion to the museum

School kids happily playing after their excursion around the museum


Also published on Medium.

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