National Museum of Natural History in DelhiThe National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), New Delhi, was established on June 5, 1978 as part of the vision of the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who felt the need to make people aware of the rich flora and fauna India has. The day coincided with World Environment Day.
A visit to this museum of natural history gives the visitor a glimpse of the vast and diverse plant and wildlife, ecology, natural history and all life forms surviving here. It also shows how these life forms are interrelated to each other and therefore live in harmony. Here, visitors will gawk at the life-like dinosaur that stands on the lawn at the entrance of the museum. This is just the beginning. Inside, there’s much more to see, understand and learn, whether you’re a child or an adult.
Objectives of National Museum of Natural History
In keeping with its motto, ‘Educating while Entertaining,’ this national museum aims to educate the people on the interrelations e museum aims to educate the masses. It tries to pervade the fact that Earth and all forms surviving on it are related to each other and hence, they must live together in harmony.
It also aims to develop this museum in different regions of the country so that it permeates down to regional and local levels. It aims to achieve this through developing educational projects based in the museum besides also helping school curricula in Environmental Education (EE).
It also aims to reach out to the largest number of people by developing Environmental Education resource materials, such as audio-visual aids, school loan kits and low-cost teaching aids.
Another of its objectives is to take on museum-based and collection-based research.
It also works to develop national and international collaborations and cooperation with other museums and organizations in the field of natural history and/or Environmental Education.
Location of National Museum of Natural History
The NMNH is located in the midst of the most elite institutions in central New Delhi. Its staid façade is offset by a large dinosaur statue at the gates. It is located on Tansen Marg, near Mandi House, the nearest Metro station and is 17 km from the airport.
The NMNH is a subsidiary office of the Indian Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Besides this museum in the Indian capital city of New Delhi, there are three regional museums in the country in Mysore, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, while two more are being set up at Sawai Madhopur and Gangtok.
Today, the NMNH, New Delhi, offers visitors the following services:
These services comprise guided tours, film shows, educational programs, vacation programs, publications, information services, programs for children with different abilities, teacher orientation workshops, etc.
Visitors to the NMNH can see the exhibits at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), New Delhi, by means of a series of guided tours, conducted on request, by trained Educational Assistants.
The museum screens films based on conservation, ecology, wildlife and environment every day, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Museum Auditorium on the third floor.
The NMNH reaches out to a large number of people through its many educational programs in the year. These programs are categorized as outreach and in-reach programs, extension programs and interpretation programs.
Of these, whereas outreach programs are devised for people who cannot physically visit the museum, in-reach programs are provided within the museum for those who do not visit the museum. Extension programs are those services the museum provides to schools whose students haven’t yet visited the museum. Interpretation programs are specialized services provided in the various galleries.
During the summer and winter vacations, the NMNH organizes several special programs that include in-house and outreach programs and nature camps. These vacation programs comprise discussions, outdoor nature explorations, museum studies, observation and analysis of the problem of city pollution, a visit to a wildlife sanctuary or a national park to examine its ecosystem, besides several projects.
The museum regularly publishes literature on environment-related issues, workbooks and worksheets for school children. These usually comprise leaflets on certain museum exhibits and nature study project assignments for older students. Schools can request for the same.
Information or Library services
At At the NMNH, visitors can obtain any information related to natural history, ecology and wildlife from its huge library with an impressive store of reference books. Due to this, it is not uncommon to find students and researchers obtaining information for their specific projects here.
Programs for differently-abled children
The NMNH thoughtfully organizes several educational programs by which differently-abled children can see and appreciate the exhibits of this museum. Some of these programs concern speech, hearing and vision, physical movements, etc. The museum also organizes specially set up guided tours of its various galleries by its Touch, Feel and Learn programs, use of audio-aids and Braille material.
Apart from the above, the museum also organizes competitions for these children and conducts professional capacity building workshops for its staff to make them realize the special needs of such children.
Teacher orientation workshops
One of the NMNH’s chief target audiences are school teachers. For them, the museum specially organizes training workshops so that teachers are exposed to the museum’s resources which can be very good classroom teaching aids.
Exhibition ServicesAmong the museum’s Exhibition Services are the many kinds of exhibitions, such as Permanent and Temporary galleries. Other Exhibition Services include its Discovery Room and the Activity Room.
The NMNH has three main exhibit galleries:
Gallery 1—Introduction to Natural History
This gallery is on the first floor of the museum. A visit to this gallery puts visitors in touch with the origin and evolution of all living beings and their diversity. This includes our flora and fauna. Through evolutionary changes, a presentation traces the evolution of contemporary life.
Another section shows animals and plants in their natural habitat. Pollination in flowers, the usefulness of plants, good and harmful insects, the use of camouflage, etc are clearly showcased here. Not only is the information here useful to visitors but teachers can also use it as extra information while teaching particular topics.
Gallery 2—Nature's Network: Ecology
Visitors to this gallery on the second floor will be in for a surprise when they see a display of the world’s most significant ecosystems, and plants’ contribution as basic producers, food chains and webs, the inter-relationship among human beings, plants and animals; contemporary environmental issues such as depleting wildlife, deforestation, pollution and decomposition, etc.
The gallery on the third floor showcases unique conservation methods of natural resources used by plants and animals. These conservation methods are answers to present-day problems that are part of our lives, such as overpopulation, pollution, deforestation, etc.
Discovery and Activity Rooms
These two rooms serve as resource rooms for older and younger kids respectively. Learning by exploring and discovery makes learning enjoyable and memorable. In these rooms, children are left free to choose the activities of their interest. Children are allowed to handle all kinds of specimens and examine them, besides taking part in creative opportunities like clay modeling, painting and exploring discovery boxes.
They are introduced to Nature and to develop a scientific temper and an analytical mind. They can also have fun with the games, jigsaw puzzles and touch exhibits, among many other points of interest.
Periodically, the museum holds temporary exhibitions on specific themes and these are held on its fourth floor. The museum also holds temporary exhibitions outside the museum premises too. In the past, these exhibitions were held as part under the umbrella of the Festival of India and displayed in Japan, USA and USSR and Japan, on behalf of India’s Ministry of Environment & Forests.
At the NMNH, visitors must see:
- Rare items such as Herpetological specimens, preserved butterflies, mounted specimens, etc.
- Participate in lectures that are held regularly.
- Participate in environmental discussions and programs for students of Class VI to Class XII. Handicapped children can also take part in specially organized events.
Let educationalists give you an informed guided tour of the museum.
Get the fun of all the interactive activities in the Discovery Room.
Photography, bags and cameras
Cameras and mobile phones are allowed
Museum Timings: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Discovery and Activity Rooms
10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The museum is closed on Mondays and national holidays including:
How to reach National Museum of Natural History
Mandi House is the nearest Metro station to the museum. Visitors can take local buses bearing route nos. 770A, 740, 783, 720, 391, 790, etc and can reach the museum in a short time.
National Museum of Natural History
FICCI Museum Building
Near Mandi House
New Delhi -110001
Tel: 011 23314849