The capital city of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh boasts of being home to a number of important tourist destinations of India. The city is thronged by tourists coming from different parts of the country and abroad, who want to catch a glimpse of the picturesque beauty and the historical attractions of the place. One of the tourist spots, which remind us of the cultural heritage of the city, is the Government Museum and Art Gallery. Located in the center of the city, the museum was established in 1947 and designed by Le Corbusier.
After the Partition in 1947, the collection of paintings in the Central Museum of Lahore (the then capital of Punjab) was divided among the Lahore Central Museum and Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh. Following the division, sixty percent of the objects went to Pakistan, leaving behind the collection of Gandharan sculptures and Indian miniature paintings (including Mughal and Pahari) for display at Government Museum and Art Gallery. Before coming to Chandigarh, the collection of paintings was housed in Amritsar, Shimla and Patiala, in succession.
The location of Government Museum and Art Gallery has made it a hit tourist attraction of Chandigarh. Located in the heart of the city, the museum provides a beautiful view of the Shivalik range of mountains. Government College of Art is located within the campus of the museum, which is beautified with selective trees and the vast expanse of its courtyard, featuring contemporary sculptures. Due to the growing needs of the museum, a few other buildings were added to its premises, after its inauguration on May 6, 1968.
Presently, the museum is divided into four wings, comprising of the Art Gallery, National History Museum, Chandigarh Architecture Museum and National Gallery of Portraits. Chandigarh Architecture Museum displays original invaluable documents pertaining to the planning and evolution of the city. The National History Museum is home to beautiful displays of the cyclorama of evolution of life, nature in art, manuscripts, display of the evolution of man section and dinosaurs of India. National Gallery of Portraits displays portraits of Indian freedom fighters, ceramic murals and books on the freedom struggle.