Sunday, December 18, 2016

District Archeological Museum, Nellore.

Nellore has a Museum.Yes it does. Nobody, to whom I asked about this knew there was a museum in Nellore.Not the shopkeepers nearby my home, not the colleagues at office and not even the autowallahs. Everybody drew a blank at the mention of a Museum.Nevertheless I searched for it and made two attempts to visit it and on last Wednesday I got lucky. It was open.

Nellore District Museum is located in Saraswati Nagar on the Magunta under bridge road. It is a small red colored nondescript building. It houses some 7 sections. The first one has displays of tools of neolithic and paleolithic age which were found around Nellore. Second section has some terracotta and Bidri works.Then there is one where a number of swords and firearms are kept. For me only one section stood out. That was the one displaying coins. There were many coins of different eras and kings. The best were 6 coins of Roman period which were found near the coasts of Andhra Pradesh signifying the trade relations the people of Satavahana period enjoyed with the Romans. There are some Gold coins too on display.

The only other area of interest were a few pieces of Ming era vases and dishes.

This museum is only good for the local school kids for an introduction to archeology and History.  


Quick Facts:
Location - Left side on the Magunta under bridge road leading to KVR petrol pump.
Timings- 10 30am to 5 00 pm.
Entry Fee - Rs3
Fee for Camera - Rs20

Monday, December 12, 2016

HAL Aerospace Museum.Bangalore,India.

Museum. A lot of people drop their plans to come along with me on a trip as soon as I mention the word 'museum'. Boring is what they label it.Which is a shame.Museums, like libraries are portals of time travel. They take you on journeys of the mind. I personally love museums and the very first thing I check out when I visit a new city is the museums there.So a few weeks back when I found myself in Bangalore to meet my friend Bhanu I decided to check out the HAL Aerospace museum. My friend thankfully accompanied me with no complaints.

The HAL Aerospace museum is situated on the Old Airport Road at the HAL premises. The parking is limited but we found a space nearby and comfortably parked our bike.We reached the place at around 10am.Our plan was to take in the exhibits slowly and spend an hour looking at everything.We were wrong. By the time we ended our tour we had spent close to 2 hours inside. 

The whole museum is divided into 6 Halls as this map displayed at the entrance shows. Hall 1 is a circular building which has 7 galleries around its circumference, which have photographs of major events of HALs journey from its inception to the present.Each gallery covers a decade. I was surprised to know that HAL was engaged in servicing of fighter jets of the allies during World war 2.There were pictures of Vultee vengeance bombers, Gnats, Maruts ,Vampires and many other planes.Also there are pictures of various dignitaries who have visited the HAL site.There are photographs of Kings of Iran,Iraq, Afghanistan and a lot of other countries.

Hall 2 has many models of Aero engines. This is a very informative area as one can see the cross sections of the engines.Also there is a Basant aircraft and a parachute ejection system model.The most interesting part for me was the Pratt & Whitney engine on display. The upper floor has two flight simulators.The on the left is for kids but from I heard even kids will be disappointed with it.  The one on the right was a bit enjoyable. The only thing that makes it different from the normal video games of aircraft is that you have a joystick in your hands and the seat tilts to the left and right as you make turns.

Pratt & Whitney Engine
The rest of the halls have many Aeroplane exhibits out of which only a MIG 21, a GKN Westland Helicopter and an Advanced Light Helicopter interested me. We wandered around all exhibits at our leisure and took our own sweet time in checking out each and every exhibit.

It was nice to see a crowd.
After this stroll of 2 hours we headed towards the well maintained cafe and had some snacks. There is a good shady place to sit and we enjoyed our break. Nearby was a small pond which had many small fishes darting around. Amusingly I found a larger crowd here than in front of any of the exhibits. That was a clear indication of the kind of interest we have towards Museum.

Quick Facts:-
HAL Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum
Location - Varthur Main Rd, HAL GB Quaters, Marathahalli
Timings - 9am to 5pm.
Entry Fees - From HAL's website-

Entrance Fees(Adult)
Rs 50/-  per head
Entrance Fee(Students and Children upto 18 yrs)     
Rs 30/- per head(with ID card )
Entrance Fee(Children upto 3 years)  
Physically Handicapped   
Still Camera    
Rs 50/- per each
Video Camera  
Rs 75/- per each
Basic Simulator Game 
Rs 50/- per head
Motion simulator      
Rs 100/- per head