Government Museum and Art Gallery
Among the notable museums of Chandigarh is the Government Museum and Art Gallery. It was founded in the year 1968. The major things to see in this museum are the Gandhara stone sculptures, decorative arts, miniature paintings and coins. This museum is a suitable place to have a glimpse of the artifacts and fossils of the prehistoric age. There is a large reference library in the museum in order to provide more inputs to the students and scholars. Gandhara sculpture section is considered to be the most prominent section of the museum having 627 works of art of Gandhara period which is a share of the Lahore Museum's collection received by India at the time of partition. These beautifully carved sculptures consist of a number of Lord Buddha and Bodhisattva images of different sizes. It also possesses a remarkable set of miniature paintings belonging to the Pahari Painting School of Art and miniatures built in Rajasthani idiom. There are also paintings depicting the Sikh art. The section of the museum dedicated to the Indian miniature painting displays the paintings of the Mughal period, Bundi, Mewar, Marwar and a number of other classes of Rajasthani era and Kangra painting. There is another section in this museum known as the Indian contemporary section, which is mainly constructed to preserve the works of famous artists.
International Dolls Museum
International Dolls Museum is located at Bal Bhawan in sector 23 of Chandigarh. This museum was established in the year 1985. It is dedicated to kids and has been built for their entertainment. It serves as a depository of about 300 different kinds of dolls which have been collected from Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Korea and Russia. This museum also has ten murals of the important landmarks of different countries with colored blowups. The dolls in the museum illustrate popular dance forms of India. In an attempt to amuse the children visiting this museum, these dolls also illustrate popular story characters like Aladdin and his Magic Lamp, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Ali Baba and Forty Thieves and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Apart from dolls, this museum also has a huge model of German railway station in the middle of the exhibition hall.
National Gallery of Portraits
National Gallery of Portraits is situated in sector 17B of Chandigarh. This gallery was established in the year 1977. It is regarded as an attempt to intimate the upcoming generations with the struggles of the freedom fighters of India. To achieve this aim, National Gallery of Portraits shows a film related to the freedom movement of India and preserves the recorded voices and portraits of the great leaders of India. Rare documents related to freedom struggle form a vital part of the exhibits of this gallery. Other exhibits of this gallery are photographs and duplicates of original writings, ceramic murals and sculptures. A noteworthy aspect of this gallery is a library which serves as a home to a collection of books related to India’s freedom struggles.
City Museum of Chandigarh
The City Museum is located in sector 10 of Chandigarh. This museum was established in December, 1997. It was erected to celebrate the fifty years of Indian independence by the city administration. The managing body of this museum is the Department of Urban Planning Chandigarh. The aim of the construction of this museum was to collect, display and preserve the details of the development and planning of the city of Chandigarh. The development of this city commenced from the phases of rough paper sketches and continued till the realization of the plans and models. The City Museum possesses original sketches, plans, models, documents and photographs, which will provide its visitors a clear account of the development of Chandigarh. The story of the partition of India and the need for a new capital is also displayed in this museum. It is important to note that the previous capital of Punjab moved into Pakistan after the partition of India, which created the need for a new capital city. On the first floor of the museum there are exhibits displaying the growth aspect of Chandigarh. More specifically, these exhibits are based on the theme of 'Chandigarh today and tomorrow'.
Museum of Evolution of Life
Another most visited Chandigarh museum is the Museum of Evolution of Life. It is situated in sector 10 and provides an impressive flashback of the history starting from the Indus Valley Civilization till the present day. The doors of this museum opened for public in August, 1973. As the name suggests, the museum takes one through an evolutionary drive from unicellular organism till the present day's biological diversity. This place is suitable for those looking for prospect in evolutionary studies, where a clear explanation is provided with the help of various paintings portraying source of life, the variety of animal and plant life and vanished races of man. There are several art galleries in the Museum of Evolution of Life, which are segregated into fields of archaeology, astronomy, botany, history, biology and geology. For those interested in a deeper study can access the numerous books available in the reference library of the museum. This museum presents the details of the changes which mankind has undergone in order to reach what it is in the present time with the help of charts and drawings. Several fossil evidences (some being constructed and the others being real ones) will take one all the way through the complete phase of evolution in a very beautiful manner.
Other Chandigarh Museums
Some of the other museums in Chandigarh are Herbarium Museum, Zoology Museum, Botany Department, Museum of Fine Arts, etc.