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State Museum Shimla
As you walk on along the Mall, you’ll reach the Himachal State Museum, a colonial building set in spacious lawns.It has a good collection of coins, photographs, local handicrafts and other items. The doll gallery consists of a collection of Himachali bride and tribal dolls while the collection of Pahari miniature painting is also worth a look. Numerous damaged sculptures from all over the state have been preserved here, like the 8th century stone images from Masrur and Bajaura. There are also some 11th century miniature bronzes like the beautiful standing Vishnu (second of the Hindu Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) figure.

Visiting Hours
1000-1330, 1400-1700; Closed on Mondays and public holidays.

State Museum :
This houses a representative collection of Himachal Pradesh's rich heritage exhibits inculde archeological artifacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures. Closed on Tuesdays and holidays. Himachal State Museum was opened on January 26, 1974 with the purpose of collecting and protecting the scattered cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh particularly in the Westem Himalayan principalities.

Since then this institution has been preserving the state cultural and artistic heritage and imparting its service to acquire, conserve, and exhibit the arte- facts to educate the people. The Research Scholars and people at large visit the institution from India and abroad. The art objects displayed in the museum stand as eloquent testimony to life of the past and have their value to access the technological, artistic and religious concept. It is housed in an old double story heritage building, 'Inveram'.

The Government of India had transferred this building having historical importance for housing the Museum. Previously, the building was a private residence of Lord William Beresford, the Military Secretary to the Viceroy for many years. After Lord William Beresford left India, the General Sir Edwin Collan occupied it and then by Sir Edward Law, the Financial member of the council. After it served as residence of Indian government officials.

Art objects in the Museum collection are mostly related to art, archaeology and cultural anthropology of Himachal and other states of India. At present Museum, has about 9000 objects in its collection. At the outset, museum started with four galleries. Since then more galleries have been added. These galleries pertain to Pre- historic, Indian Archaeology, Woodcarvings, Himachal Archaeology, Pahari Miniature Paintings Monuments, Photographs, Rajasthan paintings, Bronzes, Numismatic, Arms Gallery, Gandhi Gallery, Philatelic, Anthropological, Contemporary Art & Wall Paintings gallery. In addition to these galleries museum has one exhibition hall for arranging the exhibition and other museum activities.

Pre- Historic Gallery :
At the entrance of museum, the visitors can have a view of some fiberglass models of extinct wild animals which were used to roam in the Shivalik hills, million of years ago. In the gallery, some stone tools and fossils are on display, which show the development of technique of tools.

Wood-Carving Gallery :
Here one can find the display of wood carving and panels retrieved from the old- age temple and houses of state. There is a fine display of masks, which are still used in various religious and cultural festivities. The gallery serves as a living example of traditional wooden art of Himachal. Apart from this Some stone sculpture of Himachal are also on display.

Archaeology Gallery:
The sculpture from different parts of India are displayed here. The themes, styles and material of these sculptures provide us with a good perspective of the cultural life of the various regions and provide a comparative study of art for research. Apart from this, some terracotta's of Maurya, Shunga and Gupta period and pottery shreds of proto- historic period are also on display.

Himachal Archaeological Gallery :
Gallery has a unique collection of stone sculptures from different parts of the State which reflects the artistic skill of the regional artists. The sculptures of Simhavahini Durga from Hatkoti, Surya from Kullu, Vishnu and Lakshmi from Nirmand, Kartikeya from Karsog and Nidhi from Kangra are among the displayed sculpture.

Pahari Miniature Painting Gallery :
Himachal is well known for its Kangra Miniature Paintings in the art history. The miniature painting of different school like that of Kangra, Guler, Basholi, Bilaspur and Mandi etc are on display. These paintings were done on hand-made paper prepared by the prisoners of Sialkot Jail and natural colors are used in paintings. The themes of these paintings are drowned from epics, Git-Govinda,Ragmala ,Baramasa, Bihari Satsai and other secular themes.

Wall Painting Gallery :
The tradition of decorating the temples, palaces and royal houses with wall were prevalent in Himachal. The wall paintings displayed here are retrieved from the palace 'Rang Mahal' of Chamba and dated back to first half of 19th century A.D .

Photographs Gallery :
In up-stair one can find the display of photographs of important monuments of Himachal Pradesh. The photographs depict the hill architecture.

Rajasthan Miniature Painting Gallery :

Miniature paintings and portrait from various school of Rajasthan, i.e. Jaipur, Mewar, Buildi, Kota, Malwa,etc. are on display. In addition, some paintings of Mughal School, Sikh School and Company period are also exhibited.

Bronze Gallery :
Bronzes of different regions of Himachal are exhibited in this gallery. In addition to it bronzes of rest of India are also displayed which reflects the cultural tradition, artisanship and religious belief of the people.

Numismatic Gallery:
Coins discovered in different parts of Himachal are chronological displayed in the gallery. Gallery throws a complete light on the numismatic history of Himachal. Coins right from Punch mark i.e. first Indian coin to the present coins are on display in its chronological order. Apart from this some chart of coins showing the different types of coins issued by the ruler during their reign.         
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