Visvesvaraya Museum: Haven for science enthusiasts
A favourite among both children and adults, Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technical Museum, located in the heart of the city on Kasturba Road, is an integral part of the Bengaluru museum trail. Spread over four floors, the museum, which is a haven for science enthusiasts, has sections for space technology and biotechnology, besides a fun zone and a dinosaur enclave. The fun zone is where visitors spend most of the time, while the other galleries get people interested in the respective subjects.
The infinity well, where the bottom of the well cannot be seen, the machine that tells you the water weight of one’s body, and the mirror arrangement, where one can see their back, are among the many attractive displays.
The footfall at the five-decade-old museum has increased from 1,44,265 public visitors and 3,624 students in 2021–22 to 1,74,795 public visitors and 1,18,374 students between April 2022 and January 2023.
“I have a passion for science and enjoy visiting this museum. I come here at least once every month. I like doing all the activities here,” said Daivik Gowda, a student who was at the museum with his parents.
“We have been coming here for decades, and now we are here with our grandchildren, who are thoroughly enjoying the scientific models here,” said Vishalakshi and Prabhakar.
Government Museum: 2nd oldest museum in South India
Adjacent to Visvesvaraya Museum stands the second oldest museum in South India, established in 1865. Even though 700–800 people visit this museum every day, with the number going upwards of 1,000 on weekends and holidays, the infrastructure at the Government Museum begs for improvement.
While it hosts a range of exhibits, from the oldest known Kannada inscription, Halmidi Shasana, to artefacts from Hoysala and Ganga ages, the descriptions here do not do justice to the story behind them.
According to a staff member, the patrons here are primarily senior citizens interested in history. Arjun, a youngster, said nothing piqued his interest. “I had some free time and decided to come here as I had never been here before. But honestly, there is little explanation about why these objects are important.”
However, a tourist couple who came from Kerala were impressed by the display. “We are history buffs and wanted to check out the artefacts from Tipu Sultan’s era and much more. This visit has been quite exciting,” said Aneena. Those who visit the museum also usually go to the Venkatappa Art Gallery in the neighbouring building, where more than 600 paintings are displayed.
Indian Music Experience Museum: A different tune
Anyone who likes music will have a good time at the Indian Music Experience Museum at J.P. Nagar. At this interactive facility, visitors can learn and listen to a variety of music while gaining insights into different genres, artists and technicalities. So vast is the collection that a visit to this museum requires dedicated hours to experience every gallery.
Apart from galleries like ‘Stories through Songs’ (where there is a song for every mood like first love, cheer and more), ‘Songs of Struggle’ (where one can listen to songs used in political movements while expressing dissent and also find a replica of Mahatma Gandhi’s letter to M.S. Subbalakshmi), visitors can also find their raaga, taala, and shruthi with the help of the tools at the museum. There is also a recording room where visitors can have the professional experience of recording songs in studios.
The museum attracts music enthusiasts, students, families and senior citizens, as there is something for everyone on its premises. “The curators here have managed to capture the essence of different styles of music in one place. While for us musicians, this is like paradise, for children and youngsters, this can be a good introduction to the vast ocean that is music,” said Jagadish Kumar, a musician from Mysuru who visited the museum.
HAL Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum: All about skies
A point of pride for the city, the HAL Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum, established by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in 2001, is the first aerospace museum to be set up in the country. From models of various aircraft like MiG-21, Ajeet, and Lakshya to exhibits like a model of PSLV and engines of various planes, this museum is all about the skies.
Visited by thousands of aviation enthusiasts, this facility is a favourite among schools to take their students on scientific excursions, as well as for aeronautical engineers. A visitor, who frequents the museum, said, “I like looking at the engineering marvels and the innovative features that were used in the older aircraft. Hence, I come here every month,” he said.
For those who come from a defence background, this museum is also an inducer of nostalgia. “Since my dad was in the Army, as I was a child, I used to get a chance to see aero shows and parades. Now, as I can no longer go to such events, I make it a point to visit this museum to recall the old days and the flights I used to see back then,” said Nimisha K., a software engineer.
Museum of Art and Photography: Oasis of creativity
The Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) on Kasturba Road was thrown open to the public on February 18 this year. The five-storey building has an auditorium, an art and research library, a centre for education, a facility for specialised research and conservation, a cafe, a member’s lounge, and a fine-dining restaurant.
With custody of over 60,000 artworks, the museum attracts a large number of art enthusiasts and also a growing population of new generation photographers.
“I am studying photography in college, and I am very interested in studying the works of as many artists as possible. Looking at the exhbits here gives me ideas about how I can be creative with my own photography,” said Vipul K., a student.