Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Mysore Museums, Places to visit in Mysore, Karnataka Tourism

Mysore Museums: City of Art and Culture

Mysore is a city rich in art, culture and heritage and this is also being preserved through number of museums in the city. There are more than 10 museums that represent different genres of art and culture and you would be tempted to visit these Mysore museums even more than once.

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During our recent visit to Mysore during Dussehra celebration, we visited 5 of Mysore Museums. We are putting below our experience with each of these museums.

1. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya

(Location) Also known as National Museum of Humankind, this is a Government of India Museum that showcases the art and culture of traditional India. Courtyards (Front and back) has a beautiful open display of Terracotta art from different regions of India. This is a permanent display and is very attractive.

You will be really amazed to see some of the sculptures. Horses at the entrance with their tongue lurking out of their mouth, small monkey sculptures sitting on a platform giving all kind of funny postures (Terracotta art from Orissa) and elephant babies standing at both sides of the exit towards back courtyard are certainly not to be missed.

Funny monkeys in the front courtyard of the Museum, Places to visit in Mysore, Mysore Museums, Karnataka Tourism
Funny monkeys in the front courtyard of the Museum

Interior of the Museum building displays the art and culture based on life in different parts of India on rotation basis. This display gets changed after every few years. During our visit, museum had a beautiful display of art, clothes, tools, handicrafts, masks and posters depicting the culture of North-East India.

There is also a small shop from where you can buy art pieces (like brassware, Madhubani paintings) at quite reasonable prices. Museum also organizes different workshops and lectures at regular intervals. You can register your details with Museum to get regular updates on scheduled workshops and lectures. We very much liked the museum and actually visited it twice, on both days of our stay in Mysore.

Museum Type: Government
Tripadvisor Rating: Link 
Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: Free
Time to visit: 1-2 hours

2. Jaganmohan Palace and Art Gallery

(Location) This Museum was originally a palace built by Wodeyars, rulers of Mysore which now has been converted to a Museum.  This museum has different items on display  – weaponry, musical instruments, sculptures, dresses, brassware, coins, clocks etc. primarily from the period of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, who built this palace.

However, this place is more famous for its collection of paintings from different artists of Mysore State, most prominent of them being Raja Ravi Varma.

Entrance of Jaganmohan Palace Mysore, Karnataka Tourism, Places to visit in Mysore, Mysore Museums, Karnataka Tourism
Entrance of Jaganmohan Palace Mysore

We liked the museum primarily for its collection of paintings which is considered to be one of the largest collection of artifacts in South India.

Museum Type: Government
Tripadvisor Rating: Link
Timings:  10 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: Rs 30 per person
Time to visit: 1-2 hours

3. Railway Museum Mysore

(Location) This museum is located around 1 KM from Mysore Railway Station on Krishnaraja Sagar Road and has an outdoor display of many vintage locomotives. There is also a poster gallery display in a small room that has a good collection depicting the growth of railways in India. You can roam around and also enter and hang from locomotives on display.

There is also a small park for children with good open space and a small toy train that you can take a ride on.

Inside Rail Museum, Mysore: Places to visit in Mysore: Karnataka Tourism, Mysore Museums
Inside Rail Museum, Mysore

Though you can finish the Rail Museum within 15-20 minutes but you will be tempted to spend more time sitting in the park or hanging from locomotives or taking a ride in toy train. Place is calm, peaceful and well maintained. Children will certainly have a lot of fun here.

Museum Type: Government
Tripadvisor Rating: Link
Timings:  10 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: Rs 20 per person, Toy Train Ride extra
Time to visit: 1-2 hours

4. Sand Sculpture Museum, Mysore 

(Location) You will find this museum situated at city outskirts on your left hand side while going to Chamundeshwari Devi Temple. This is a private museum which displays the sand sculptures made by M. N. Gowri, who is a sand sculpture artist from Mysore. Museum has a round trail of sand heap created by piling tonnes of sand and different sculptures have been made on the same one after another as you walk across.

Sculptures has a display from areas of mythology, religion and modern life like display of Goddess Chamundeshwari, Ganesha and Quran, Dussehra Procession, Scenes of children playing.

Sand Sculpture Museum, Mysore Museums, Places to visit in Mysore, Karnataka Tourism
Sand Sculpture Museum

This is relatively a small museum and has limited collection of the sculptures on display. We primarily liked it because this was the first time that we had seen sand sculptures. You too may consider to stop by and have a look in case you had not seen anything of this kind earlier.

Museum Type: Private
Tripadvisor Rating: Link
Timings:  10 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: Rs 40 per person
Time to visit: 30 minutes -1 hour

5. Melody World Wax Museum

(Location) This is also a private museum which is situated around 2 KMs from Sand Museum and you can reach this museum by taking a 1 KM detour to your left from the circle just before Sand Museum, while on your way to Chamundeshwari Devi Temple. This place is divided into two parts, one being a small museum (Wax human figures and musical instruments on display) and another being a Horror House and both places have separate tickets costing Rs 30 each.

Wax Museum, Mysore: Places to visit in Mysore: Karnataka Tourism, Mysore Museums
Wax Museum, Mysore

Not Recommended: This is a quite average museum considering that the wax sculptures (primarily human figures) on display are limited in number and all look almost identical. Lights are dim and you will find a staff standing at every corner who will haunt you immediately by uttering a line about sculptures as soon as they will see you. The museum is also not well maintained with plaster coming off walls at many places. We came out of the museum within 10 minutes.

Based on the feedback from the people coming out of Horror House, we also decided to give a skip to Horror House. You may too consider to skip this Museum.

Museum Type: Private
Tripadvisor Rating: Link
Timings:  10 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: Rs 30 per person (Museum) & Rs 30 per person (Horror House)
Time to visit: 15 minutes (Museum)

We could visit only 5 museums due to paucity of time but there are few more that you can consider to visit – 

6. Folklore Museum

(Location) This museum is located in the University of Mysore in the Manasagangothri campus in the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion. Most people found it difficult to locate and actually we too could not find it and instead landed at Museum of Natural History which by that time had closed. So, please be cautious of locating the museum especially do not use auto google location as that leads to Museum of Natural History.

Tripadviosr Rating: Link

7. Regional Museum of Natural History

(Location) Tripadviosr Rating: Link

So guys, happy exploration of Mysore Museums 🙂

Happy Exploration !!

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