The Sreemanthi Bai Memorial Museum is one of the prime tourist attractions of the city of Mangalore. Situated on a prominent hillock, in the Kadri hills, it commands a magnificent view of Arabian Sea; the Western Ghats and one can easily identify that!amiliar land mark, the” Kuduremukha” from the terrace of the building. The building itself is a beautiful structure constructed in the shape of a ship with Italian mosaic flooring. It consists of a ground floor, the first floor and an open terrace with a room on the top and an underground strong room for storing valuables. It is located in the centre of an attractively laid garden. The present Sreemanthi Bai Memorial Bhavan in which the Museum is housed, was gifted in 1957, to Government of Mysore by Late Col. V. R. Mirajkar, one of the foremost surgeons in the country for the purpose of organising a museum to perpetuate the memory of his beloved mother Sreemanthi Bai. While gifting the Building and the land on which it is situated the donor has also gifted a large collection of valuable objects of art which formed nucleus for starting a museum. The museum was declared open to the public on ‘May 4th 1960 by Sri B.D.Jatti, the then chief Minister of Mysore. The building as already mentioned, consists of a ground floor, first floor and a terrace with a room.
The art objects in the collection of the Museum can be broadly classified into 4 groups:
- Ethnological an
- Natural History Specimens.
The ground floor of the building is mainly donated for the presentation of art, archaeological and ethnological specimens. The first floor houses the specimens of natural history. Within 10 years of establishment the museum has made very good progress and has become very popular, particularly among students. The public of Mangalore have been responding enthusiastically to the many sided programmes and special exhibitions conducted by the Government Museum. Special exhibitions form part of activities, among which mention may be made of the following with the said themes:
- “Crib to Cross” on Christmas day
- “Children Painting”
- “Festival of lamps” arranged on the festival of Deepavali.
- “Exhibition of coins”
- “Rare silver ware”
- “Artists of South Kanara”
- “Life of Mahatma Gandhi” from Photographs.
- One man show by local artist Sri P.N. Punchithaya.
Besides organising such special I exhibitions, the museum avails every opportunity to participate with the public r actively in any special exhibition organised by the other educational institutions in the region. We will be failing in our duty if we do not, remember the help and service rendered by Sri C. J. Padmanabha, I.A.S., who helped in no small measure to enrich collections of this Museum.