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The Shimla State Museum, Shimla

Visitor Information

  • Famous For: History, Culture, Paintings, Coins, Sculptures, Jewelry, Textiles, Archeology, Photography
  • Entrance Fee: 20 per person for Indians and Rs.100 per person for foreigners. For photography, Rs. 50 for Indians and Rs. 100 for foreigners. Videography is also allowed at a charge of Rs. 2500.
  • Visiting Time: 10 am to 5 pm (Tuesday to Sunday)
  • Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours

The Shimla State Museum, was inaugurated on 26th January, 1974. It is a physical representation of the cultural diversity and historical significance of the city and state. It houses attractions like coins, paintings, wooden carvings, sculptures, photos, collected over time from Shimla as well as all over the country. It is located at a distance of around 3 kms from Scandal Point, near The Ridge. Its main motive is to preserve the antiquities stored here, and to maintain them.

Shimla State Museum
Photo by Abhishek Kumar, CC BY 2.0

Traveller Tips

  • Wear comfortable footwear, as it is long walk around the entire museum and its surroundings.
  • Washrooms are available inside the premises.
  • Take care of your mobile phones, wallets, cameras, jewelry and other valuables.
  • The Museum is closed on Mondays and other public holidays.

Things to Do

  • Visit the different galleries of the museum.
  • Learn about the different antiquities.
  • Read about the state’s rich history.

Availability of Guides

Guides are not available, as they are not required. Under every artifact, its related information and its history is written on a plank.

Best Time to Visit

Any time is good to visit.

Mall Road
Mall Road, Photo by Balaji Photography, CC BY 2.0

How to Reach

It is located on the Mall Road in Shimla. It is a major landmark in the city. From any corner, you can reach here by a public bus, auto, taxi or private vehicle.

Interesting Facts and Trivia About the Shimla State Museum

  • The museum resembles a unique Victorian era mansion.
  • It sits on a small hillock, which is called Inveram. This makes the surroundings very calm and serene. It is full of lush greenery and sloping cavities.
  • Before using the house for constructing the state museum, it served as a private residence Lord William Beresford, who was the military secretary of the then Viceroy, Lord William Bentick. After he left the country and his post, the house was inherited by Sir Edwin Collan and the next owner was Sir Edward Law, who was a prominent member of the Finance Council. After independence, the house was lived in by various ranks of government officials and finally, it went on to house the Shimla State Museum.
  • The museum always supports different forms of publicity. Recently, different activities like All India Art Expo took place in the year 2011, workshops, seminars, competitions, shows and lectures are also arranged.
  • The museum also has a library, which stores manuscripts and books on history and archeology.
  • The collection of Mughal and Rajasthani paintings is world renowned here.
  • There are different sections, which are called galleries, like Archeology gallery, Photographs gallery, wood carving gallery, Bronze gallery, pre historic gallery, miniature Pahari paintings gallery and many more.
  • At present, the museum holds around 9000 items, paintings and objects in all.

Nearby Attractions

  • Scandal Point
  • Mall Road
  • The Ridge
  • Shimla Christ Church
  • Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex
  • The Indian Safari
  • Kotkhai Palace
  • Kiala Forest
  • Mahamai Temple
  • Jakhu Temple
  • Kali Bari Temple
  • Johnnie’s Wax Museum
  • Lakkar Bazaar

Nearby Restaurants

  • Cecil restaurant
  • Viceregal Lodge
  • Gorton Castle
  • Trishul
  • Sagar Ratna
  • Honey Hut
  • Hide Out café
  • Ashiana and Goofa
  • Himachali Rasoi
  • Punjabi rasoi
  • Shringar restaurant
  • City Heart
  • Embassy restaurant
  • Dimsum Chinese Fast Food

The main aim and focus while building this museum was to preserve the deteriorating art and art objects, and therefore, in this way, to protect the rich history of this northern state. This historical and archeological significant place is a must visit when holidaying in Shimla.

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