Government Museum building of Bangalore - in Neoclassical design

Govt. Museum, Bengaluru, KA

.Government museum, Bengaluru, interior.

It was on 18 August 1865, the Government Museum in Bangalore was established (part of Cubbon park complex)  during the tenure of   L.B. Bowring as the Chief Commissioner of Mysore State. Credit goes to   a medical officer of the Madras Army  Edward G. Balfour, who had just been transferred to Bangalore and who took efforts to have a museum established. It is  the second oldest museum in South India. Annually more than 100000 people visit the museum. In August 2021, it completed 156 years.

Government museum,interior  Bengaluru,

 façade Government museum, Bengaluru,

Regarding proposed museum a formal  official  Gazette notification was issued in the Mysore Government on 17 April 1866. The Karnataka State Archives in Bangalore has  a copy of the notification inviting citizens to contribute cultural and natural artifacts to the museum for display.

Balfour had previously established a museum in Madras in 1851 with good collection of artifacts, etc. and organized good collection  of artifacts comprising  zoological and natural specimens The building in Bangalore was opened in 1877 on what was then known as  Sydney road (now it is renamed as  Kasturba road). An interesting historical fact is  the museum was functioning in a  Cantonment's jail building for 13 long years till 1878.

architect Sankey,

Because the building was a misfit for museum and organization of various galleries'  for display of exhibits, a decision was made to build a new building to house the museum and to accommodate  future expansion. Col. Richard Hieram Sanke (22 March 1829 – 11 November 1908; native of Tipperarey County, Ireland),  the Chief Engineer of Mysore State at that time was the architect and he designed the red-colored stone building in 1877 in neoclassical architectural style with  two porticos on either side, Corinthian columns, circular arches, sloping eaves and prominent sloping parapet walls in the façade in particular. It is close to  Visvesvaraya Industrial And Technological Museum and the Venkatappa Art gallery. Richard Sankey  also designed the famous  Andrews church (1864), Mayo Hall (1870) and Sankey tank to meet the city's water requirements.   The exterior of the building was renovated and the interior portions needed further attention, particularly lightings.  .  

The museum with two floors  have exhibition halls and 18 galleries that cover a variety of  fields sculpture, natural history, geology, art, music and numismatics.  There are more than 120 antiques of  deities of different periods. Also on display are a multitude of old jewelry items,  sculptures from the Hoysala, Gandhara and Nolamba periods, paintings  including  rare paintings of Deccan, Mysore and Tanjore kingdoms  artifacts, art, pottery, coins from various periods of history  from Mohenjodaro, Halebid  and Vijayanagar  and the Chandravalli period, and  battle weapons from Kodagu (Karnataka).   There are many items from Tipu's regime.  The most valuable exhibits are  the earliest Kannada inscription in stone - the Halmidi inscription (450 C.E.) Begur inscription (890 C.E.), Atakur inscription (949 C.E.). The ground floor  houses mostly archeological artefacts, many of them  from Hampi, 

The museum is being managed by  the Karnataka State Archaeology Department under the purview of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. and this one can be marked out among the 16 museums being under the ASI. The Bangalore Government Museum  situated on the campus of Cubbon Park is just  5 km from the Majestic bus stand and 36 km from Bengaluru airport. it can be accessed by  the Bengaluru Metro (Cubbon Park metro station is the nearest), bus, or taxi.