Chennai, considered as the cultural capital of India, is home to the National Art Gallery. The National Art Gallery is an architectural Mughal inspired masterpiece built in sandstone and is considered as one of the finest Indo-sarcenic structures in India. This pink and motif adorned building was built in 1907 by T. Namberumal Chetty based on Henry Irwin’s theme. Standing proud in the sprawling lush greenery, the art gallery seemingly looks like an Art beacon.
Originally known as the Victoria Memorial Hall, the gallery is an integral part of the 16.25 acre Government Museum Complex in Pantheon Road. Although the complex boasts of other interesting buildings, the Gallery draws a major attraction to the visiting public due to its rich and large content of artifacts that dates back to the 10th century AD.
Walking through the halls of building is like going through a time portal that takes you back to the past of India. The Gallery truly plays a large role in the preservation of heritage and culture of Chennai in its deepest sense. Any art enthusiast could easily get lost in wonder with its vast collection of art pieces from different periods. The collections are divided into four sections, which make it easier for the visitor to identify its group. Every section then offers a unique and enchanting experience to the visitors.
Visitors will find the Tanjore Paintings, which are classical South Indian Paintings that usually serve as devotional icons, which are best known for their richness and vivid colours. Next, you will find the Indian Traditional Arts section, boasting of stone carvings, wooden dolls and statues. From the Ravi Varma Painting Gallery section, you will find the works of the famous oil painter whose paintings are usually based on Hindu epic stories and characters. There is also the Decorative Arts section, which is as equally interesting as the rest. Most visitors also are enthralled with the displayed antique carriage, which was a famous gift of the Governor of the Madras Presidency to the Gallery. Other famous attractions in the Gallery include the Panchaloka statues dancing Lord Shiva, called Nataraja and his wife Goddess Parvathi. Visitors will also find 11th and 12th century Indian handicrafts, which are equally interesting. The Gallery’s collection spans through the past centuries, up to the present modern Indian art. Each piece can then effortlessly captivate one’s interest and appreciation of arts.
Getting to the Gallery is no problem because it is conveniently located on the right side of Pantheon Road if one is coming from the Chennai Central. Located north of the Gallery, more or less two kilometres away is the Egmore Railway Station, which gives the Complex easy access to tourists and locals alike. The Museum is open daily except during Fridays and Holidays.
The National Art Gallery of Chennai offers vast information about its country whether about its past or present. This is especially true as the gallery contains one of the most extensive and concentrated collections of Indian and Chennai Art works that have all been important in defining Indian culture. Museums and galleries like this offer location-based learning, helping people understand and promote the preservation of the rich culture of Chennai.