Kunda Satyanarayana Kala Dhamam is its name, but it is more popularly known as Surendrapuri or Mythological Awareness Center. This Mythology museum at Surendrapuri celebrates Hindu Mythology, its history, its epics, its Gods, and Goddesses. Located roughly 40 km’s from Hyderabad, it was founded by Sh Kunda Satyanarayana in memory of his son Surendra Babu. Once you have gone through this vast museum you wonder at the effort of one man who had the vision of bringing all the divine places and concepts of Indian Mythology at one place and that led him to build this unique museum. I am not aware of any other similar museum in India or anywhere else at least not at this scale.
Mythology Museum Surendrapuri, Hyderabad
The campus outside the museum has some giant figurines of Gods and Goddesses. And a temple dedicated to Narasimha Swamy like the one at Yadagirigutta close by. You enter the museum through a giant lion’s mouth. Walking through the horn-like creations on both sides. This is just a small prelude of what is waiting for you inside. It is the world in itself with various scenes and innumerable temples. All you have to do is follow the arrows marked on the ground.
Ancient Indian mythology speaks of various Loka’s i.e. various worlds that exist in the universe – the famous ones being Swargaloka and Patalloka. Roughly translated heaven and hell. You see the depiction of various Loka’s like Brahmaloka, Vishnuloka, Sivaloka, Nagaloka, Indraloka, Yamaloka, Narakaloka, Patalaloka. At Nagaloka you go inside the underground with all kinds of Nagas depicted. At Vishnuloka – Vishnu is sleeping on the serpent, at Indraloka – apsaras are dancing, at Swargaloka you go through the seven golden gates. It basically gives a visual version of what we have read about these places in scriptures.
Ramayana & Mahabharata
You get to see the scenes of Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagwat Purana. You get to see all the Shakti Peethas and Jyotirlingas and Char Dhams. There is a model re-creation of all the famous temples of India. Though there is an obvious skew towards the South Indian temples and especially the temples located in Andhra.
Ganga at Haridwar
My favorite parts of the museum were a re-creation of Ganga at Haridwar. And making people go through it. The creation of Chkravyuh that trapped Abhimanyu at Kurukshetra – I am not sure if it technically represents the formation. But it re-creates the atmosphere for the visitor as you go through it to reach where Abhimanyu is stuck. The grand hall or Sabhagriha of Indraprashta or palace of illusions is a good attempt. I liked the swan-shaped benches in their canteen that has a cow mechanically moving. You go through many giant animals or inside them. But that is kind of childish and it feels like you are on a picnic. Giant depictions of Shiva getting the Ganga to earth and Mahishasurmardini.
There is no photography allowed and the ticket price was Rs 300/- person last month. You need at least 2-3 hours to even walk through the place. At a leisurely pace, you can easily spend 6-7 hours there. There are cafeterias and small eateries at regular intervals for taking a break. I could not see any toilets but it is possible that I missed them. There is no water available inside unless you purchase it. That I think is a bit unfair since the ticket price is not small.
Ironically most of the people I saw inside the museum were not the people whom you would generally think that they would spend 300 Rs to see a museum. But they were there – whole families enjoying each and every depiction there. That too on a weekday. I also wish there was little more documentation for those who may not know Hindu history and mythology.
For Hindus, it can be a visual treat to see all religious places in one place. For others, it can be a good visual introduction to the mythological maze of Sanatan Dharma.
Recommend you to read the following travel blog on Places to visit in Hyderabad, Telangana.