The city of Bengaluru is usually viewed only as a tech centre, famous for being the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. While that stands to be true to a large extent, many are oblivious to the fact that the city also offers some of the most experimental and inclusive museum experiences. Bengaluru incorporates a vibrant art culture with exhibitions around the city exploring unique subjects.
The varied range highlights historic relics as well as inventive materials using technology; these exhibitions offer insights into the culture and heritage of southern states. Here are four museums to be explored when in the city of Bengaluru.
I. Indian Music Experience Museum
IME is India’s first interactive music museum, located in JP Nagar. The non-profit initiative seeks to introduce the youth to the diversity of Indian music and to preserve India’s rich musical heritage. Their unique exhibitions range from ‘songs of struggle’, an archive exploring the music created during different political movements to ‘songs of the people’, commemorating the songs of various folk and tribal communities of India. The gallery also has special curations for Indian instruments with a stunning double-height display carrying a peacock-shaped mayura veena and snake-shaped nagphani. One of the most interesting parts of the gallery has to be their ‘Sound Garden’, with multiple musical installations inviting you to explore its distinct sound, material and vibration. The museum also conducts various online exhibits highlighting the lesser known aspects of Indian music.
II. Philatelic Museum
A space dedicated to the journey of communication in the country, located on the first floor of the Bangalore General Post Office, the Philatelic Museum showcases numerous stamps from various time periods. If you’re a collector or even someone interested in the evolution of postage, their archives are the perfect place to learn. The neatly sorted and arranged displays add to the viewing experience, clearly marking the different denominations, sizes and shapes of different periods. A treasure trove of stamps from the bygone era to modern times, the gallery also extends the knowledge further with over 600 books and magazines devoted to philately. Lastly, you can also carry mementos as the museum extends into a postal counter that sells stamps, covers, postcards and other postal paraphernalia.
III. Heritage Centre & Aerospace Museum
Established by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, HAL Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum displays a varied collection of aircraft models, fighter planes and helicopters. The museum is divided into two different visual experiences, the first hall carries photographs that chart the growth of aviation in each decade from 1940 to date, while the second hall highlights the various functions of an Aero Engines. Namely the real engines such as Garret (for Dornier Aircraft), Adour (for Jaguar Aircraft) and Orpheus (for Kiran Aircraft) can be seen here. A virtual wonderland for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs, the museum extends into a library on aerospace and provides an opportunity to trace the exciting development of the industry since the 1940s. The unforgettable experience is entertaining and enlightening at the same time, taking the experience a notch above are the true-motion simulators that provide an opportunity for people to get in the pilot’s seat, offering a thrilling ride.
IV. MAP: Museum of Art & Photography
A museum space situated in the heart of the city is located on Kasturba Road, MAP is a space designed by leading Indian architect Soumitro Ghosh with a special focus on accessibility. The architectural framework of the museum will echo functionality and a sense of openness, is intended to support visitors with special needs and disabilities. Divided into different departments such as ‘modern & contemporary art’, ‘sculptures & objects’, ‘textiles’ and so on. The idea is to provide a bridge between the classical and the modern traditions in Indian art from the past to the present; taking the experience beyond just viewing the pieces, the museum intends to inspire people to interact with them. The space includes art galleries, an auditorium, an art and research library, an education centre, a specialised research and conservation facility, as well as a terrace cafe.
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