The next day after a relaxing and pampered stay in the hotel premises we were ready to begin our tour with a bang. After quite a discussion we decided to visit the National Museum of Indonesia. This ethnological and archaeological museum is located in central Jakarta, on the western side of square Merdeka. This museum is of geographical and historical importance and has been successful in preserving the country’s heritage since last two centuries. National Museum was established in the year 1778 on April 24th by a group of intellectuals who wanted to setup a scientific institution. Their primarily goal was in research promotion in the fields of sciences, arts, archaeology, physics, etc. and publishing their findings. Officially the Museum opened in the year 1868 and was also called Gedung Gajah meaning elephant building as it houses a bronze statue of elephant in its front yard. This was a gift from the then King Chulalongkorn to Batavia in 1871
Statues belonging to different periods are in display over here. A world Cultural Exhibition was held in 1931 in Paris showing the collections of the museum. The museum boasts a collection of nearly 61,600 anthropological artifacts and 5,000 artifacts relating to archeology. It has one of the most complete and richest collections in South-Eastern Asia. The largest collection of Buddhist and Hindu inscriptions, relics and sculptures were collected from various places and displayed in the central hall of the lobby
The second floor houses the archaeological room which displays precious relics and gold artifacts and one of its richest collections is the beautiful statue of Prajnaparamita. This Goddess of wisdom is displayed in the entrance of the archaeology room. Golden bowl, gold coins, golden relics, images of Hindu Gods, Lord Shiva’s bronze statue, regalia from various places, bracelets, rings of diamonds and rubies, golden coins, swords and shields are all displayed and showcased here. Terracotta and Ceramics collection including water vessels, piggy banks, and statues dating from time immemorial are al shown here. The Bronze collection, the Textile collection and the numismatic collection are mind boggling. We have been very lucky to have visited the National Museum, Jakarta as it promotes cultural studies and increases the knowledge of the common and interested visitors.