Under the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change
Government of India
Home | About Us | Exhibit Areas | Museum Collection | Book your tours
Regional Museums | Programs and Events | Feedback | Sitemap

About Us
[About Us - Vision & Misssion - Location Map]

The NMNH owes its genesis to Smt. Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister, who while considering new projects to be initiated in 1972 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of India's Independence, decided that the country needs a Museum of Natural History to depict its flora, fauna and mineral wealth to provide an out of school facility for education of children and to promote environmental awareness among the masses. The NMNH opened its doors to the public in a rented building in Mandi house on 5th June 1978, coinciding symbolically with the World Environment Day.

From a single Museum located in New Delhi, the NMNH has extended its geographical range by establishing Regional Museums of Natural History (RMNH) in many parts of the Country such as Southern Region (Mysore), Central Region (Bhopal) and Eastern Region (Bhubaneswar). Two more Museums are being established in Western Region (Sawai Madhopur) and North-Eastern Region (Gangtok).

The NMNH at New Delhi caters to the needs of visitors by the following:

1. Visitor services: Includes various educational programmes, publications, information services, film shows etc.
2. Exhibition services: Includes various types of Exhibitions such as Permanent (Galleries), and Temporary. It also includes specialised resources such as Discovery Room and Activity rom.

Visitor services:

Educational programmes: The NMNH organises a large number of educational programmes throughout the year. These may be classified as interpretation, extension, in-reach, and out-reach programmes. Interpretation programmes are services provided in the Museum Galleries. Extension programmes includes services provided outside the Museum to schools who have been to the Museum earlier. Out-reach programmes include special services provided to those who cannot visit the Museum. In-reach programmes are special services provided inside the Museum to those who generally do not visit the Museum.

Guided tours: Visitors to the NMNH are generally provided with guided tours of the Galleries by trained Educational Assistants on request.

Vacation programmes: During the summer and winter vacation periods, the Museum organise a large number of special programmes involving in-house and out-reach programmes and nature camps The programme consists of museum studies, discussion sessions, outdoor nature explorations, observation and analysis of pollution problem in the urban environment, individual project assignments and exposure to the ecosystem in a National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary in India.

Programme for Children with different abilities: The NMNH organises a large number of educational programmes to cater to the needs of Children with different abilities related to vision, speech/ hearing, locomotion, mind etc. These include special structured guided tours of museum galleries, 'Touch, Feel and Learn' programmes, use of audio-aids and Braille materials. It also organises special competitions. As part of its Museum Accessibility Programmes, the NMNH also organises professional capacity building workshops for Museum people for sensitising them about the special needs of children with different abilities.

Teacher Orientation Workshops: One of the primary target audiences of the NMNH is schoolteacher for whom it organizes regular training workshops. Such workshops are generally intended to expose schoolteachers to the resource materiel available at the Museum which may help in classroom teaching.

Film Shows: The Museum has an extensive collection of films on wildlife, ecology, conservation and the environment in general. Films are screened every day for the visitors at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM at the Museum Eco Theater in second floor.

Publications: The NMNH occasionally publishes popular literature on environmental related topics, worksheets and workbooks for use by children. These include "take-home leaflets" on selected exhibits and nature study project packages for youngsters. These are available to schools on request.

Information services/ Library: The Museum provides information to public through its library which has a good collection of reference books on natural history, wildlife and ecology. It is frequently used by students for project work and by Researchers.

Exhibition services:

The NMNH New Delhi has three exhibit galleries, namely: "Introduction of Natural History", "Nature's Network: Ecology" and "Conservation".

Gallery 1: The Gallery 1 on “Introduction to Natural History” portrays the origin and evolution of life and presents the variety and diversity of the flora and fauna of our country. The presentation follows a section on evolutionary sequences and evidences to establish how the present day life evolved. Another section depicts the plants and animals in their natural habitat followed by pollination in flowers, plants and their uses, harmful and beneficial insects, camouflage, adaptation of terrestrial, aquatic and aerial life in animals, endangered animals etc. These sections not only provide useful information to the visitors but also serve as valuable resources in supplementing the classroom teaching.

Gallery 2: The Gallery 2 on “Nature's Network: Ecology” presents an overview of major ecosystems of the world, role of plants as primary producers, food chains, food webs, decomposition, bio-geochemical cycles, Interrelationship among plants, animals and human beings, present day environmental problems such as pollution, deforestation, depletion of wildlife etc. and the reasons (ethical, aesthetic, economic and scientific) for conservation.

Gallery 3: The Gallery 3 on “Conservation” deals with many aspect of conservation of nature. A dramatic life size diorama of a typical deciduous forest presents two contrasting views (one with a rich, balanced forest ecosystem and the other of denuded, deforested and barren terrain). That deforestation is the thoughtless exploitation of trees by human being is presented symbolically through an oversized model of human hand ruthlessly uprooting a tree. Exhibits that follow give a didactic view of the importance of trees in conserving soil. Conversely deforestation leads to soil erosion, siltation of riverbeds and formation of wastelands. Other exhibits in the section show how valuable the tropical rain forests are for mankind. These forests are the rich repository of genetic and biological diversity, Subsequent sections of the Gallery deals with depletion of wildlife, endangered species as well as conservation projects. The problem of pollution and increasing pressure of human population on internal resources are some of the other themes presented through exhibits. Two exhibits that stand out are on Bishnois community and Chipko andolan.

Discovery and Activity Rooms: These are two resource facilities meant for children of higher and lower ages respectively. The principle of discovery learning theory is generally used where learning is through activities and enjoyable. Children are free to choose one or several of the activities provided. Opportunities are provided for children to handle and examine specimens, participate in creative activities such as modeling and painting and exploration of discovery boxes. Children to sensitised to explore nature, develop creative talent and to bring in them a sense of inquiry and scientific outlook. There are games, touch exhibits, and a number of participatory exhibits. Children can develop animal stories with the help of cutouts and a Magneto Board, piece together jigsaw puzzles, measure their weight and height and also check their eyesight.