Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): This International Museum Day, Free Press profiles four museums in Madhya Pradesh which are only of their kind in the country. All of them are located in the state capital - Bhopal. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, traces the history of human civilization in the country, while the Tribal Museum covers the rich culture and lifestyle of the tribals of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. National Telecom Museum showcases the history of telephony and telegraphy in India and the Sapre Museum, preserves copies of old newspaper and original manuscripts of renowned writers and scholars. Almost all national and international dignitaries and tourists visiting the city make it a point to visit them.
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya
Established in 1979, the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), also called the Museum of Man, is the only anthropological museum across the country, located on the Shyamla Hills. The institution, which presents an integrated story of the evolution of human race and its culture, with special reference to India, is spread over an area of about 200 acres. Its vast area and huge outdoor exhibits and clusters of the open-air exhibitions partially developed and opened for the public: Tribal Habitat, Coastal Village, Desert Village, Himalayan Village, Mythological Trail, Kumhar Paara and Traditional Technology Park. As many as 30,000 ethnographic exhibits are in its collection.
National Telecom Museum
The National Telecom Museum was opened for the public in 1996. Located at Arera Telephone Exchange, Bhopal, the museum has an excellent blend of modern and ancient telecom equipment that capture the golden history of Indian Telecommunication. The museum houses 1837's Highton's Telegraph Galvanometer, 1874's Baudot's Printing Machine, various components used from Magneto to electronic exchanges, old documents and bills, payment sheets and performance record books dating to the British era. It also possesses a PCO booth of the 19th century and an SOS telegram sent by commanders of the East India Company during the revolution of 1857.
Established in 2013, the ‘Janjaatiya Sangrahalaya’ or Tribal Museum on Shyamla Hills was inaugurated by the then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. The museum showcases historical and cultural narratives depicting different facets of tribes inhabiting Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh such as the Gonds, Bharias, Korku, Sahariya, Bhil, Baiga and Kol. Tribes of the state, themselves, have exhibited their historical and mythological narratives, beliefs, colourful wedding customs, farming practices, and rituals in the museum.
Established on June 19, 1984, the Madhavrao Sapre Sangrahalaya, named after journalist Madhavrao Sapre, collects all kinds of old periodicals and newspapers in Hindi, Marathi, Urdu and other languages for the purpose of preserving them. Around two lakh books, two lakh manuscripts and more than 25,000 magazines are available in its collection. The museum is in the process of digitising its collection of more than five crore pages. Recently, noted litterateurs Chitra Mudgal and Prabhakar Kshotriya donated their collection of books, magazines and manuscripts to the Museum.
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