Any exploration of India's greatest museum is incomplete without a visit to the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal. The Museum lies in a prehistoric landscape with evidences of prehistoric human settlement in its premises at Bhopal- the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. Covering an area of about 200 acres of undulating terrain in the Shamla Hills, it is one of the largest and leading Anthropological Museums in India. Aesthetically curated Open Air Exhibitions components with the most enduring Indoor Exhibitions, it promises to live up to the expectations of Museum visitors. This Museum depicts the story of mankind in time and space. It offers opportunity to explore the most subtle but artistic sensibilities of the rich Indian culture and heritage through its appealing exhibitions. It has 8 (eight) open air exhibitions and 12 indoor galleries. Impressive periodical and travelling exhibitions of the Museum on various topics are highly receptive and friendly to the visitors. Moreover, Museum activities of this Museum are designed to make informative, educative and entertaining. A visitor's friendly environment with improvised form of interactive displays offers a new taste to a Museum visit. Education Programmes, Workshops, Seminars, Symposia, Group discussions. Conferences, Cultural Programmes, Regional, Cultural festivals, Lectures, Artists camps, etc. are some of the regular activities. Museum Outreach Activities ranging from artists camps and cultural exchange programmes to the organisation of grand community oriented cultural festivals are some of the community friendly activities of the Museum. The Reference Library of IGRMS provides abundant research opportunities for students, researchers, designers, film makers etc. and it is an important source of documentation for the university community and Museum professionals.
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS)/ (National Museum of Mankind), an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, began functioning since March, 1977 as a 'Subordinate Office' of the Department of Culture, at New Delhi. By early 1979, the establishment was shifted to Bhopal on allotment of a 200 acre campus by the State Government of Madhya Pradesh. The status of the Museum was converted from the 'Subordinate Office' into an Áutonomous Organisation in March 1985, and the 'Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya Samiti' was entrusted to control and supervise the programmes and activities of the Sangrahalaya. Subsequently as an extention of the Sangrahalaya, Southern Regional Centre at Mysore started functioning since October, 2001 from a heritage building 'Wellington House' allotted by the Government of Karnataka. The mandate of the Sangrahalaya include: presentation of an integrated story of bio-cultural evolution of humankind through outdoor and indoor exhibitions by highlighting the richness and diversity of cultural patterns of India and its underlying unity; to act as a centre of research and training in museology and generate a new museum movement in India and to present and preserve variety of cultural life. IGRMS is also working for national integration, and promote research & training and inter-organizational networking for salvage and revitalization of vanishing, but valuable cultural traditions. The innovative aspects of the organisation are its open-air and indoor exhibitions, built with active involvement of traditional artisans and experts drawn from different community groups, and the education, outreach & salvage activities in different parts of the country. Through its exhibitions, education programmes and salvage activities, IGRMS demonstrates the aesthetic qualities of India's traditional life styles, and the continued relevance of local traditional knowledge and mores of people to the modern society and cautions the people against unprecedented destruction of ecology and environment, local values and customs. The programmes and activities of the organisation are carried out under three sub-schemes namely: 1. Infrastructure Development : (Development of Museum Complex), 2. Education and Outreach Programme and 3. Operation Salvage.