Birla Museum Pilani

Birla’s, who have been known as one of the leading industrialists of India decided to establish the first museum which would showcase the scientific and technological progress of the Indian human race. Till date we knew that museums are restricted to historic connotation of art, culture and tradition. However, the house of Birla’s felt that like history, science too should be exhibiting its progress and also showcase its discoveries for people to watch. The Birla’s were interested in showing the human race how science and technology has developed in India over years and how industries have led to a rapid growth, which is parallel to the development in other countries all over the world. There were quite a number of museums that were built in India which dealt with art, history and archaeology but there were hardly any which would deal with progress in the field of science and technology. Therefore, the product of Shri G.D Birla and Shri L.N. Birla’s thought made way to the establishment of Birla Museum in Pilani.

Pilani is a town in Rajasthan which was commonly known as the “university town”. All the major educational institutions and technological educational institutions were built in this location and hence the name. The Birla’s made no exception and established the first science, technology and industrial museum in India. The science and technology museum at Pilani was established by the Birla’s towards the latter part of the 19th century. It still stands tall as the only science museum in the whole of India. The building of the museum is on a huge university campus which is about 200kms west of Delhi. This establishment by the Birla’s later served as a boon for many other technological museums to come up in many places in India. The unique feature of the Birla Museum, Pilani is that it is the only museum in the entire sub-continent, whose sponsorship is done privately by the Birla’s while the other museums which have later developed are all government aided.

Galleries of the Museum

The museum is demarcated into 17 respective galleries, each one of them with specific scientific purpose and technology. These galleries allow people to have an hand-on experience and practical demonstration of all the discoveries made in science as well as in the field of industrial technology.

Human Biology Gallery

This particular gallery depicts the scientific evolution of man based on Darwin’s theory. It has sculptures, illustrations and also murals done on the wall which would make people understand the gradual evolution of man, better.

Electronics Gallery

This gallery puts forward the fascinating and mysterious world of electronics and explains to people how these electronics have made our lives much easier. It proudly houses the first ever robot based on micro-processing technology. Another attraction of this gallery is the musical fountain which is controlled simply through a keyboard.

Mining Gallery

The mining gallery depicts how minerals and other geological items are extracted from below the earth and how the whole process of mining is done. The gallery has a life-size coal mine, demonstrations of minerals, information about various geological materials and also maps showing places where minerals are available in India and the world.

Arms and Weapon Gallery

The arms and weapon gallery houses the variety of indigenous and impressive collection of the arms and weapons of historic value that were mainly used by the Rajputs during their rule. An exhibit has been especially dedicated to the Rajput king Maharana Pratap which makes it a visual treat for people to watch him fight with Chetak at Haldi-Ghati with special audio and visual effects.

Space Gallery

This gallery depicts the whole of space with models and sculptures which give people the illusion of a real space. The ceiling of the room has been transformed into sky with stars, satellites and planets moving all around replicating their exact position in the real sky. It gives information about the space with the help of posters and the gallery also has a special demonstration of Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut, going to space.

Science Gallery

This gallery has been dedicated to exhibit general scientific and technological ideas which would help children to grow interest in science and development with the help of these lifelike demonstrations. It showcases technological models on heat, sound, light, metals and many other scientific aspects.

Tickets and Timings

The standard ticket fee to enter the museum is Rs.10 per person and the museum is open on all days apart from Mondays and other notified public holidays. The timings to visit the museum are distributed in two shifts. The morning shift is from 9.15 to 12.45 and the afternoon shift is from 3 to 5. There is a special 5% concession for students and schools. However, they need to seek permission for this facility from beforehand.

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