Everything You Need to Know About NIMHANS Brain Museum, Bangalore

Everything You Need to Know About NIMHANS Brain Museum, Bangalore

Bangalore was once the Garden City of India and now it’s the Silicon Valley of this country. It boasts pleasant weather all year round and is a vacation worthy spot. However here we are focusing on one thing that sets Bangalore apart from the rest of India. NIMHANS Brain Museum, Bangalore is a one-of-a-kind in India featuring various brain specimens collected over the years. 

If you are an avid science enthusiast, the NIMHANS Brain Museum is the place to be. Learn about the gray matter at this exquisite educational site, so you have brainy stories to share once home. Get packed and book last minute flight tickets to Bangalore 

Who established this Brain Museum, Bangalore? 

This museum is the brainchild of Doctor S. K. Shankar, the Neuropathology Department head at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). However, Dr. Shankar hates taking credit for this and insists it is the result of teamwork. Dr. Shankar retired in 2012, but he still ensures to be at the museum every morning. 

The museum is housed at the NIMHANS office along with their twin project ‘The Brain Bank’. Shankar joined the institute in 1979 and since then has been collecting rare brain specimens affected by different neurological diseases. NIMHANS Museum aims at imparting knowledge on neuroscience to the curious masses.  

What to expect while touring the NIMHANS Brain Museum? 

While some people are amused and engrossed by the vast display of brains, some may be squeamish. So, if you are a bit weak-minded, maybe the brain museum is not for you. However, all those gray matter lovers out there, this will definitely be a sight to behold. It houses brains affected by Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. 

As you enter this unique museum, you will be surrounded by a bright white room filled with showcases. Each shelf holds a number of different brains encased in hard plastic with a label detailing its condition. There are around 500 specimens on display here along with the brains of a few animals like chickens and cows.  

There is a section dedicated to physical brain injuries due to accidents, this part will definitely get you thinking and get you serious about the helmet-wearing rule. The highlight here is a brain that was riddled with tapeworm eggs that caused the victim to grow paranoid. 

This brain is particularly special because the victim was misdiagnosed. The victim’s husband was arrested after the woman’s body was found under suspicion of foul play. Parents of the woman added to these suspicions as they claimed their daughter complained of constant assault from her husband. 

However, after her skull was broken and the brain was examined in the autopsy, it was found that the cause of death was not her husband but tapeworms. This brain was then soaked in formalin solution for weeks and then sliced to put on display.   

What makes this Museum different from others? 

Now, this is exciting. Hopefully, all the squeamish ones have left because things are going to get handsy. The museum is literally a hands-on institute that pushes its visitors to hold the specimens in their palms. While many find this incredibly gross, the show runners believe the closer you get the better you learn.  

The story of the woman with tapeworms reflects their hands-on policy by stating that you might assume one thing but only after an up close examination can the real reason be revealed. 

When to visit this eccentric petting zoo? 

Dr. Shankar and his diligent workforce are dedicated towards keeping this museum alive. This Brain Museum, Bangalore conducts guided tours only on Wednesday and Saturday. Although it has the tour only two days a week, it is worth it for the educational guide. If you visit the museum on any other day, you will be on your own and will miss out on the exclusive information provided on these tours.  

The tour timings on Wednesday are 2:30 to 4:30 PM and Saturday’s tour happens from 10:30 AM to 1 PM and 2:30 to 4:30 PM. Each tour is limited to nothing more than 40 people. The museum is kept open seven days a week from 10 AM to 3 PM. This museum is closed on second Saturdays and every national holiday. 

                                  Now that you know everything about the Brain Museum in Bangalore; all that’s left is seeing it in reality. Get ready for an enlightening and educative journey as you see firsthand what happens to the brain when it’s affected by various diseases. Don’t second guess and get packed for a brainy expedition. Use Indian Eagle for booking the cheapest flights to India. 


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