Shimla State Museum is set on top of a hill, above the Chaura Maidan at Shimla. It is housed in a colonial building, known as Inverarm. One has to hike about 1500 m to reach the colonial mansion housing the museum, but the rich collection exhibited here definitely makes it worth the effort. Simla State Museum has a rich collection of anthropological items, early 19th century Pahari miniature paintings and numismatic finds on display. All of these serve as evidences of the glorious cultural heritage and historical past of Himachal Pradesh.
The artworks from ancient and modern times and splendid Pahari
miniature paintings displayed here present the great art form of
Northern India in its pristine form, free from any Western influences
that crept in later. Exquisitely carved antique stone sculpture and
bronze idols, weapons and armors of the time of yore and dolls can also
be seen at the State Museum of Shimla. The section on paintings also has
a number of Moghul and Rajasthani miniatures and a beautiful pair of
watercolors from the 'Company'.
A collection of bronze idols from the temples scattered all around
Himalayas never cease to amaze the viewers. Not to be forgotten are the
contemporary oil paintings, which capture some of the most picturesque
scenes from the Himalayas, and a small collection of the deity masks,
found in the valleys of Kullu and Sarahan, which date back to 19th and
20th century. There is also a separate room dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi,
the Father of India, displaying his photos when he visited Shimla and
his political cartoons that comment on his relations with the British.