Rich in cultural diversity and heritage, the eastern Indian state of Odisha never fails to amaze its visitors with its profound scenic splendor. In fact, people have often called it the “The Soul of India” because of its timeless beauty and mysterious architecture. While this stunning Indian state may have lost some of its iconic monuments with time, it has still managed to retain its charm and preserve its magnificent heritage by brilliant means. You can head over to any of the wonderful Odisha museums to get an insight into its intense and intriguing history that has shaped Odisha into this marvelous piece of paradise we know today.
10 Best Odisha Museums
Take a peek into the fascinating history and heritage of Odisha by paying these awesome museums in Odisha a visit. Scroll down and see which one you’d like to visit first.
1. Odisha State Museum
This grand museum was started by two notable historians of the Ravenshaw College in Cuttack way back in 1932. Prof. N.C. Banerjee and Prof. Ghanshyam Dash vehemently had collected a large assortment of archaeological treasures from several places and out them up on display in a small museum which was situated in the college premises itself at that time. It was only in 1938 that the government recognized the worth of this tiny place and transformed it into the state’s primary museum. Today, it’s the largest museum in Odisha that boasts of an excellent collection of sculptures, bronze items, numismatics, antiquities, armory, copper artifacts, and rare specimens, all offering an insight into the history of this state as well as the country. The chief highlight of the Odisha State Museum is the stone sculptures of Gandhara Art, Odishan Art, and North Indian Art.
Location: Near Lewis Rd, Kalpana Square, BJB Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751014
Opening hours: 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Entry fee: INR 20/- per person
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2. ASI Museum Odisha
Located right next to Konark Sun Temple, the ASI Museum tells a great deal about the evolution of Odisha’s beautiful architecture and the sculptures of Konark Temple. Maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, this Odisha museum has 4 distinct galleries that showcase over 260 sculptures as well as architectural assortments that were discovered way back during the clearance work of Konark Temple. It tops the itinerary of every history geek who visits Odisha owing to its unique display of arts and artifacts. From the bewitching sandstone image of Surya, a Kandolite wheel, idols depicting different incarnations of Lord Vishnu, images of Surya Narayan, celestial nymphs, artifacts of roaring lions, to various erotic figures, this museum has the most bizarre collection of relics on display.
Location: Sh 13, Konark, India
Opening hours: 9 AM – 5 PM (Friday Closed)
Entry fee: INR 5/-
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3. Netaji Birth Place Museum Odisha
A must-visit for all patriotic souls, this famous museum in Odisha is dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, one of the greatest freedom fighters of the Indian Independence movement. The museum is located in Oriya Bazaar in Cuttack and is built inside Janakinath Bhawan, which was the ancestral house of Subhas Chandra Bose. It offers visitors a chance to trace his life and his contributions to the freedom movement from his childhood to his early days as a prominent figure in the freedom struggle. Beautifully transformed to display a variety of Bose’s belongings like antiques, books, documents, articles, and more, this is the most informative Odisha museum for students, history lovers, patriots, and keen youngsters who wish to play a role in shaping society. Other than these artifacts, the museum also has 22 letters that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose wrote to his family and to some leaders, along with his family’s horse cart.
Location: Oriya Bazar, Cuttack, Odisha 753002
Opening hours: 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Entry fee: Nil
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4. Regional Museum Of Natural History Odisha
The Regional Museum Of Natural History is popular for its amazing and manifold collection of exhibits and is frequented by people of all ages and walks of life. Situated Bhubaneswar, this is one of the finest Odisha museums that has on display an impressive exhibit of plants and animals brought here from different parts of the country. It also has a taxidermy gallery for tourists where several animals like Hyena, Cheetah, and Deer have been put up on display. You will also find a skeleton of a whale, dolphin, rhino, and elephant, along with a few reptiles, butterflies, and moths, all of which are the prime attractions of this museum in Odisha. It’s a great place to learn about the diverse flora and fauna thriving in different ecosystems across the country.
Location: Acharya Vihar, Sachivalaya Marg, Near Planetarium, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751013
Opening hours: 10 AM – 5 PM
Entry fee: Nil
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5. Museum of Tribal Arts & Artifacts
If you’re more interested in getting an insight into Odisha’s tribal history, then this is just the place for you! With a superb display of interactive elements from Odisha’s 62 tribes, this is considered to be one of the most important Odisha museums. Take a peek at the traditional attires, beaded ornaments, silver collars, idols of deities, utensils, coin necklaces, colorful headdresses, fancy windpipes, and various other musical instruments when you’re taking an audio-visual tour of this vast gallery. You should also visit the gallery dedicated entirely to weaponry, fishing, hunting, as well as agricultural equipment here. And that’s not, you’ll even find replicas of the traditional houses of these tribes such as the Gadaba, Kandha, Santal, and Saora right behind this tribal museum in Odisha.
Location: National Highway 5, Gopabandhu Nagar, Bhubaneswar, India
Opening hours: 10 AM – 5 PM
Entry fee: INR 10/- (Indian nationals) | INR 100/- (Foreign nationals)
6. Odisha Modern Art Gallery
How can we leave out “art” when we’re talking about “museums”, “history”, and “heritage”, right? That too when this beautiful art gallery is as famous amongst visitors and locals as the Odisha State Museum itself. Founded by famous artist Tarakanta Parida and Karen Kent, the Orissa Modern Art Gallery in Bhubaneswar has on display some of the best art works from modern young artists as well as veterans in oils, acrylic, lithographs, sketches, etchings, drawings, and sculptures. What makes this Odisha museum unique is that it even gives the most underprivileged but skilled artists of the city a chance to showcase their work here and sell them at fair prices to visitors.
Location: 132, Forest Park, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751009
Opening hours: 11 AM – 7 PM
Entry fee: Nil
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7. Kala Bhoomi Crafts Museum
Celebrating the commendable craftsmanship of our skilled artisans, this is the most prominent textile museum in Odisha that has collected and put on display a breathtaking collection of handicrafts and handloom masterpieces. The vast gallery is divided into 2 major blocks, where one is the main display area and the other is a live section. The display area of this museum in Odisha focuses on showcasing the beautiful handicrafts and handlooms from around the state of Odisha (and India). The live section, on the other hand, is equipped with an enormous open air theatre as well as separate workshop zones where people can witness in bits and parts how these brilliant pieces of art are put together to form the finished product.
Location: Jagamara, Khordha District, Bhubaneswar, India
Opening hours: 10 AM – 5:30 PM
Entry fee: INR 50/- per person | INR 20/- for students
Note: Cameras are not allowed inside. You can only take pictures with your phone.
8. Tribal Museum Odisha
This tribal museum located in the Koraput city of Odisha is just as charming and inviting as its counterpart in Bhubaneshwar. In fact, this tribal museum in Odisha has slowly turned into one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Odisha for people of all ages and walks of life. This lively museum showcases the rich culture and livelihood of the tribal population of Odisha through a diverse collection of their clothes, jewelry, musical instruments, tools, weapons, and more. Other than this, the museum also uses the means of paintings, art, and photographs to showcase their everyday life, the majority of which revolves around collecting food through hunting and fishing, and basic modes of their economy like agriculture and barter.
Location: Pujariput, Koraput, Odisha 764020
Opening hours: 9 AM – 6 PM (Monday Closed)
Entry fee: Nil
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9. Odisha Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum was built to showcase the Odisha of olden times when it had a distinct and unique shipbuilding design (called Boita). This museum also focuses on converting the history of Odiya sailors and how the shipping business flourished. Set up into the Jobra Workshop, this museum is home to a rather fascinating sea aquarium in which you’ll be able to spot several beautiful fish that have been collected from different places. The museum also has a stunning grass garden which makes it an utter delight for kids and youngsters. It’s among the most enthralling Odisha museums that was set up by a Scottish Engineer who belonged to the then PWD department of British administration right after the great famine of Odisha in 1866.
Location: Jobra, Cuttack 753007, India
Opening hours: 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Entry fee: INR 10/- per person | INR 40/- (car parking) | INR 30/- (for aquarium)
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10. Sudarshan Crafts Museum
Founded by Sri Sudarshan Sahoo out of a desire to unite artists and art lovers over a single platform, the Sudarshan Crafts Museum is a great place to visit in Odisha if you wish to see the evolution of sculptures as an eminent form of modern craftsmanship over time. Other than displaying great works of art and craft, this Odisha museum provides has various facilities for artists that give them the opportunity to wield their craft in the workroom here before displaying it to the world in the showroom outside. This place is equipped with a training centre, residential facilities, a Buddhist temple in Japanese style, a library, a showroom (gallery for displaying finished work), and a workshop to facilitate artists and even visitors who wish to practice.
Location: Station Road, Puri, Odisha 752002
Opening hours: 7 AM – 8 PM
Entry fee: INR 5/- (Indian nationals) | INR 50/- (Foreign nationals)
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We bet you’ve already added all of these intriguing Odisha museums to your list, haven’t you? Well then, all that is left now to take a trip to this wonderful Indian state and plunge into its rich history and ancient heritage that is going to tell you so much about your country! Know of any other Odisha museum that we may have forgotten to add here? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Odisha Museums
Which museum in Odisha is the most vivid concerning cultural heritage?
The ASI Museum has an elongated list of cultural heritage and assets lying with them. It signifies both the culture and history of the place.
Is there any museum that entails the story of freedom fighters?
Netaji Birthplace Museum in Odisha is one of the museums which showcases all the things related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. It is quite a proud recipient of one of the best museums for any freedom fighter of all time.
Do all the museums charge an entry fee?
No, some of them don’t levy any entry fee for people so your visit can be free. Also, the entry fee differs in every museum.
What is the mode of transportation to reach the museums in Odisha?
There are numerous modes of transportation. You can avail of the bus, local train, car, taxi and even hire a driver for your vehicle. Nowadays, you can also avail of services from different rental vehicles provided by Uber or Ola.
Is there any museum in Odisha which showcases crafts and art?
Half of the museums located in Odisha showcase crafts and cultural art only. The cultural and aesthetic value of craft & culture is one of the major attractions in these museums.
Do these museums offer experienced guides?
Right now, this option is minimal, just one or two museums provide experienced guides. The rest of them signify things with the help of signpost which is clear enough.
What is the normal timing of visitors’ entry of museums located in Odisha?
The timing starts from 10 am to 6 pm for almost all the museums. These museums don’t provide evening or late-night entry.
Do these museums provide an e-payment facility for ticket purchases?
For the time being, there are some museums that are entertaining the cashless system. But most of them are dependent upon that cash fee only. Keep some cash in case you get stuck.
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