- DakshinaChitra Museum
- Fort St. George Museum
- Government State Museum Chennai
- India Seashell Museum
- Periyar Science and Technology Centre
- Regional Railway Museum
DakshinaChitra is a living-history museum dedicated to South Indian heritage and culture. It was opened to the public on 14 December 1996 in Chennai. The museum was founded and is being managed by the Madras Craft Foundation (MCF). It was established by MCF as a museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India. There are 18 historical houses with displays, art and craft through which DakshinaChitra promotes the rich cultural heritage of South India. The museum is open from 10am to 6 pm during weekdays and from 10am to 7pm in the weekends. It is closed on Tuesday and on Diwali day.
From 10 acres of undulating sands to a vibrant heritage Museum .. It began as an effort to bring the hidden wealth of South India to light – to set up an institution to celebrate the myriad cultures of the numerous people of Southern India. In an era when the old and traditional are vulnerable and challenged, this nucleus of an idea triggered a cultural journey. Inspired by the artisans and folk artists of the villages, Dr. Deborah Thiagarajan, set out to found the Madras Craft Foundation (MCF) in 1984. Madras Craft Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization and DakshinaChitra was conceived as its main project. With the support of like-minded board members and volunteers and financial support from the Madras community, Dr. Thiagarajan and all others associated with MCF pursued the dream with perseverance and determination. MCF received a Ford Foundation grant for research and education in 1988, a long lease of land from the Government of Tamilnadu came in 1991, followed by grants from the Development Commissioner Handicrafts (Government of India) and by the Ministry of Culture for the building at DakshinaChitra. Matching donations came from industry. The Museum slowly became a reality and opened to the public in December, 1996.
East Coast Road, Muttukadu, Chengalpet District – 600 118.
Fort St. George Museum
Opened on Jan 31st 1948, this Fort museum started with small collections donated by the then Madras Presidency Government and the local church. Presently it has 10 galleries spread over three floors of the oldest surviving building inside Fort St. George. The displays are from the British East India Company and the British Raj times showcasing the coins, art works, armory, furniture, tableware of that era. There is an Indo-French Gallery along with other Indian Royals who have been part of the history of Chennai. The museum is opened from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m daily and closed on Fridays and national holidays.
Government State Museum Chennai
This is one of the most popular museums of Chennai, its also known as Egmore Museum for being located near Egmore Railway station. It consist of six buildings each displaying different artifacts related to the history of state of Tamil Nadu, in their 46 galleries. There are impresseive displays in the art section, numismatics, archeology, anthropology rock and cave section and the children's museum. The museum is opened from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m daily and closed on Fridays and national holidays.
India Seashell Museum
India Seashell Museum is the largest seashell museum in India and is located at Mahabalipuram, a famous tourist destination of South India, just 50 kms south of Chennai. It houses over 40,000 specimens of rare and unique seashells, fossils, shark teeth and whale fins which offers visitors an amazing visual treat and a unique perspective on conchology.
Periyar Science and Technology Centre
Established in memory of the famous revolutionary leader Thanthai Periyar, this museum is dedicated to Science and Technology. Scientific aspects are explained through various models in different galleries in Life Science Gallery, Energy Gallery, Transport Gallery, Physical Science Gallery, Ocean Gallery, Mirrors Gallery, and Heart Gallery. It has a Children's Corner, 3 D theatre, and one wing of this museum contains Birla Planetarium. The museum is opened from 10 a.m. To 5:45 p.m daily and closed on Republic Day, Independence Day and on Gandhi Jayanthi.
Regional Railway Museum
This is a museum to learn about train and its history. A must see for children to learn how train coachs, engines and the general railway infrastructure evolved. The museum was opened in 2002. It has a nice audio video on railway signalling, live models of various Indian trains and a toy train for kids to ride and enjoy. The museum is opened from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m daily and closed on Mondays and national holidays.