Central Museum, Indore: A Kaleidoscope of Art and History


Blog :: Heritage

Central Museum Indore

Nestled in the heart of Indore, the Central Museum stands as a beacon of cultural preservation and historical significance. This prominent tourist attraction serves as a dedicated repository, safeguarding the rich tapestry of India's cultural heritage. For history and art enthusiasts alike, it offers a captivating haven, inviting visitors to explore its enlightening galleries and delve into the depths of the nation's past.

History of Central Museum

It was first established as a part of the educational institution, 'Nararatna Mandir' in 1923 during the reign of the then-Holkar state. It was initially housed in a building on M.G Road during the rule of Holkar King Tukoji Rao III and was later shifted to its current location at Navlakha Square, Indore in the year 1965 right after it came under the state government's administration. 

What to see in Central Museum, Indore?

At present, the museum houses eight distinct galleries displaying artefacts, sculptures, epigraphs and coins from different historical eras. In this blog, we delve into the captivating galleries showcased at the Central Museum, Indore, offering a profound exploration into the rich tapestry of history and art embedded within the cultural fabric of the state.

Index Gallery and Display Hall 

The main hall inside the museum is used for exhibitions on various occasions, primarily to display the models of some of the remarkable architectural complexes of Madhya Pradesh. Besides this, the display hall also exhibits an impressive collection of miniature stone sculptures and decorated antiquities belonging to different historical periods.  

The Index Gallery has a dedicated display of exhibits from the 4th -5th century AD to the 18th century AD, but the main collection here belongs to Hinglajgarh, a historic fort nestled in the Mandsaur district. Sculptures of Saiva, Shakta, Vaishnava, Jaina, and Buddhist pantheons have been collected from Hinglajgarh and are showcased in the museum on various events. The important sculptures are of Dashavatara, Siva and Siva-family, Dikpalas, Surya, Parvati, Lakshmi, Saptamatrika, Jaina Yaksha-Yakshis, Nayak-Nayikas, some Buddha figures, etc. 

The Gallery of Antiques

The antiquity gallery at the Central Museum Indore presents an exceptionally enlightening exhibition of sculptures illustrating the evolution of the human race and its possessions across various historical eras. Within this gallery, notable antiquities from the excavations of the Harappan civilization and the Chalcolithic period are on display. Primarily these excavations belong to Kayatha, Awara, Navadatoli, Dangawda, Ajadnagar, Pagara, and Kasharawad, all of these are Chalcolithic and Historic era settlements in Madhya Pradesh. These artefacts encompass terracotta objects, bead jewellery, bangles, and pottery, each bearing significant relevance to the cultural weave of the state's rural life.

The Impressive Gallery of Coins

The museum holds an impressive gallery of coins arranged in chronological order that not only provides a visual treat but also serves as an educational journey through the dynamic history of coinage. 

Coins in the display include punch-marked coins, Ujjayini coins, Kushana coins, Kshatrapa coins, Naga coins, Vallabhi coins, Roman coins, Indo-Sassanian coins, Gadhaya coins, Gupta coins, and a plethora of others representing Kalchuri, Parmara, Delhi Sultanate, Malva Sultan, Mughal, Later Mughal, and Holkar periods. 

The Evolution of Weaponry 

Adjacent to the coin gallery is the extraordinary armoury exhibit, a skillfully crafted presentation illustrating the progression of weaponry in India from the Maratha era to British rule. On display are indigenous arms such as Swords, Shields, Daggers, Khocha, and Gupti, thoughtfully positioned alongside cutting-edge mechanised firearms like Flintlock, Mechlock, Jazel, Pistol, Revolver, Hunting Gun, and Pen Pistol. This gallery unfolds a captivating visual journey, showcasing the evolution from the traditional to the modern facets of weaponry in the country.  

The Captivating Exhibit of Paintings

The artistic display of paintings in the museum stands as a beautiful amalgamation of contemporary and modern art forms. The exhibits include photographs and paintings dating to the British, Maratha and Rajput periods. Some of the visually stunning art forms that are on display here belong to the local painters namely Devalikar, Srenik Jain, Mirza Ismail Beg and others. Besides this, there are replicas of Bagh paintings, offering viewers a captivating display of this spectacular tribal art form of Madhya Pradesh. 

The Inscriptions in Display 

A diverse array of inscriptions and copper plates are on display in this gallery. Notable among them is the stone inscription dating back to 710 AD, attributed to the Rashtrakuta king Nannap. Additionally, the gallery features stone inscriptions from Mandap Fort and Okhla, offering a glimpse into historical narratives. Other important exhibits are the copper plates belonging to Gupta-Feudal kings, discovered in Bagh Village in the Dhar district. The exhibit also includes Danpatras from Parmara king Bhoja and copper plates from the Rajputas, all of which stand as noteworthy artefacts contributing to the rich historical tapestry of the state.  

The Central Museum in Indore serves as a captivating sanctuary of historical and artistic treasures, showcasing an array of significant artefacts that offer a window into the rich cultural heritage of the state. From marble sculptures to intricately decorated plates, metal images, and medals representing the Bhopal and Indore regions, the museum provides visitors with an immersive experience that educates and enlightens. Through its diverse exhibits, the Central Museum, Indore not only preserves the past but also fosters a deeper appreciation for the cultural legacy of the state, making it a must-visit destination for enthusiasts of history and art alike.

How to Reach:

Situated near GPO Square, Residency, Navlakha, Indore, the Central Museum is easily accessible via road transportation. One can take any public transport to reach the Central museum from the city centre.

Visitor's Information

Timings & Entry Fee of Central Museum Indore

: 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM

Entry Fee: Rs. 20 for Indians,  Rs. 400 for foreigners. 

Photography Fee
: Rs. 250 each camera 

Videography Fee:  Rs 250 for each camera 

Ideal time required to visit: 1-2 hours


No entry fee for Children up to 15 years and handicapped persons.

The museum remains closed on Mondays and Govt. holidays.