Housed in a charming colonial building, Inverarm, the State
museum is located atop a hill that rises above the Chaura Maidan. A
selection of Himachal's rich heritage is displayed over here.
It is a stiff 1500m hike to the museum, but well worth the effort; its diverse collection includes contemporary and antique works of art, well displayed in an colonial mansion.
The gallery houses the magnificent Pahari miniature paintings, which are the examples of the last great Hindi art form to flourish in northern India before the deadening impact of the Western culture in the early 19th century. Stone sculpture of considerable antiquity and artistic merit assorted bronzes, arms and armour, dolls, anthropological items and numismatic finds are also on display.
Among the museums paintings are dozens of Moghul and Rajasthani miniatures and a couple of fine 'Company' watercolours. Also worth checking out are the striking contemporary oils of the Himalayas, a small collection of the 19th and 20th century deity masks from Kullu and Sarahan and a remarkable collection of temple bronzes.
One room is devoted to Mahatma Gandhi, packed with fascinating photos of his time in Shimla, and amusing cartoons of his political relationship with the British.
The museum is open from 10 A.M.- 1.30 P.M. & 2-5 P.M. from Tuesday to Sunday except on Monday and second Saturday of every month.