Gajah Museum : A slice of Indonesian culture

Gajah Museum1In my earlier post about Jakarta, I had mentioned about the National Museum of Indonesia. The building which houses this museum is called as Gedung Gajah because of an elephant statue in the front courtyard of the building. Hence it is often called as Gajah Museum as well. Gajah (गजः) is elephant in Sanskrit.

It is one of the most complete museums I have ever visited with everything about country’s history, art, culture, heritage, music, sociology, anthropology, architecture, etc. Museum is located very close to the Merdeka Square, which houses the Monas. This is central part of the city with most of the ministries and even the President’s House nearby.

The museum collection is said to be among the richest, the most complete and the best of its kind in Indonesia and also perhaps one of the finest in Indonesia. Museum has two wings- Gedung Gajah and the Gedung Arca. It has a very rich and large collection of Hindu-Buddhist art of ancient Indonesia. Museum has two floors. Second floor has a treasure room with artifacts made in gold and precious items. Even some statues of historic value have been kept there.

All the images in this post are from the ground floor sections only as photography is strictly prohibited on the second floor. (Click on the images for full caption)

This museum has a different section to showcase the types of houses traditionally built in various parts of the country.


Below is a traditional house of Minangkabau people called as gadang. This used o be a large house inhabited by several families.


The stone sculpture section as a rich collection of Hindu=Buddhist sculptures, relics and inscriptions collected from Java, Bali, Sumatra and Borneo. (Click on the images for full caption)

This museum is truly very big and interesting. You need a lot of time to see and understand the different sections. Even a whole day would be not enough to do the justice.


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