Parsi-styled brain cutlets, delicately seasoned Bheja fry at old Iranian joints like Olympia, roasted maghaz generously doused with golden-brown onions. If you’re experimental enough, there’s plenty of options to view brains in India for, well, eating purposes. But when we heard Bangalore has its very own zombie-dreamland--a strange and mysterious brain museum--we had to do a little digging.
It turns out Dr. Shankar’s ‘Brain Museum’ isn’t so much a museum as it is a gravesite for brains, both animal and human, that seem to have a penchant for being pickled and jarred. As Andy Deemer, ex fast food horror filmmaker among other things reflected, “Perhaps collection would be a better word. A fantastic collection of diseased and healthy brains, sandwiched between a Brain Bank and the Hospital Canteen.”
If you want to go visit expecting a science lesson and deep learning session about our mind’s anatomy, it’s probably time to re-adjust your expectations. Guides, doctors or staff in general are hard to come by. However, if you’re some kind of a brain fetishist, this is just the place for you. Let’s not disregard the few labels that do exist completely though.
Random purple stickers claim ‘Glioma,’ ‘Aterial Stroke,’ and ‘Schizophrenia’ amidst other medical obscure. We also discovered that if you’re really lucky, Professor Shankar himself may show up on occasion and often encourages visitors to actually hold a real, human brain in their hands. Yep, he doesn’t sound creepy at all.
If you’re still really keen to educate yourself, you might happen upon a few laminated pages that describe brain diseases, going as far as to describe the smell of certain brain diseases. Did you know fungal brain diseases can smell ‘fruity?’ There’s a fact we could have lived without knowing.
Aside from all of the above, here’s a list of a few other interesting sights you can spot here:
- the smooth and tiny white brain of a 4-week-old baby- rat & duck brains- a cross section of a brain eaten up by tapeworms- A brain afflicted with an aneurysm- The damaged brain of a person in a bike accident
NH7 weekender’s Bangalore leg isn’t too far off. If you’re planning a trip, at least you have the perfect place to go visit on a particularly hungover morning. If not, there’s always the option of consuming some deep-fried brain cutlets instead.
Where: NIHMANS Brain Hospital. Just east of NIHMANS Bus Stop, Hosur Main Road/ Dairy Circle Road.
When: It is free for public viewing on weekdays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.