Manipur State Museum is one of the interesting museums of the northeast, which try and give insights to the history and culture of the state. The museum has a number of galleries out of which the Ethnological gallery on the ground floor and the Historical gallery on the first floor are quite interesting. There are other galleries which showcase artifacts from different excavations all over the country, natural history gallery, and archeology. At the entrance of there is a small statue of Maharaja Gambhir Singh & his army general with cannons in front. There is a display of a royal boat which is almost 78 feet long called Huang Hiren, this along with some cannons and other armaments and kept in open Gallery outside the main building of the museum.
Ethnology gallery is located on the ground floor of the museum is one of the largest galleries with sections dedicated to displays of different tribes of Manipur. The sections have display of costumes, tools & implements used in day to day life, weaponry and textiles. There is small section of dolls in traditional attire from North east of India.
Ethnology gallery lead to Archaeology which has gallery has two sections one and artificial cave system showing the varied rock formations and usage of cave systems in prehistoric times. Second section is display gallery with archeological finds from all over the country. There are a few original artifacts from the Indus valley also in this gallery.
Natural history gallery is located on the first floor of the museum which houses the varied natural regions From Loktak lake in the valley to the hills of Manipur the gallery displays the flora & fauns of the state. There is a section in the gallery with specimen samples of preserved reptiles, amphibians and fish from the region.
Painting Gallery is also located on the first floor with paintings of Maharajs of Manipur and other important personalities. At the entrance to galley is the palanquin & howdah used by the royalty. There are a considerable amount of paintings which are donated by a merchant family from Kolkata.
The Manipur State Museum was inaugurated in 1969 by the then prime minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The Museum is located at a walk able distance Ima Keitel near the Imphal Polo ground and is open from 10 am to 4.30 pm expect on Mondays, 2nd Saturdays and public holidays. There is a nominal entry fee but the photography charges are quite high. Ideally one should keep about one and half hours to see and cover all the exhibits in the museum.
Manipur State Museum Open Gallery
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