Wednesday, December 22, 2010

National Museum in Delhi

I visited the National Museum in Delhi last week. Once I made my way past the scaffolding put up for construction without any sense for safety, and learned to ignore the din from the hundreds of school students, it was a couple of hours well spent. A few exhibits to mention below:

-Indus valley civilization: There were quite a few related to Indus valley civilization dated 2500 BCE or so. They were more advanced than I thought, and surprised things hadn't changed for so long! Kitchen knives, pots in different shapes and decorations, similar to what I have seen in homes when I was young. Beaded jewelry that may pass fashionable even today. Even a buried woman skeleton from Indus valley!

-Several transparancies on Language Evolution. For example, how a symbol for Ka morphed from early civilizations or found in tamil caves into different scripts of today (devanagari, tamil, telugu, even tibetan, burmese).

-Armory over the years, including bows & arrows, swords, spears, armors (including for elephants!), shields.

-Plenty of statues, idols, stupas, paintings. Many are familiar from temple and monument visits, history texts etc. The idols are from various ages, but many paintings are relatively newer from 17th century onward (not from Indus valley!). There are also more paintings in the nearby National Gallery of Modern Art, again mostly covering just last 300 years.

Also, stopped by the cafeteria and gave up looking at the menu price!

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