Ajmer Museum

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Ajmer Museum

Introduction of Ajmer Museum

The Government Museum,Ajmer is located inside the Akbar’s fort in Ajmer, also named as Magazine. It was founded in Oct. 1908 under the support of Lord Curzon and Sir John Marshall, and then Director General of Archaeology in India. After that it was developed by its first Superintendent, Pandit Gaurishankar Heerachand Ojha. The aim of which is to focus the cultural heritage of the region through its exhibits. The museum primarily consists of Sculptures, inscriptions, pre-historic section, miniature paintings, arms and armor and objects of art and crafts. This Museum is located in the Dil-e-Aaram Gardens of Ajmer in Rajasthan. The museum is divided into three sections. Two 'Yupa Pillars' (sacrificial posts) of the museum are decorated with inscriptions from the Barnala and Prathihara scriptures belonging to the 8th century and terracotta from early historical periods. The museum has various dug up material from Rairh, Bairat, Sambhar, Nagar and other destinations.

The museum contains two “Yupa Pillars” (sacrificial posts) with inscriptions from Barnala. Ajmer Archaelogical museum also has Prathihara sculptures of the 8th century and terracotta belonging to early historical period.

Earlier in time, the dug up material from Rairh, Bairat, Sambhar, Nagar etc. and the sculptures and inscriptions has been gathered from various sites in the former Jaipur State were housed at Vidyadhar Gardens in Purana Chat. In July 1949 the entire collection was transferred to Dil-e-Aaram Garden, a part of the old palace at Amer.This Museum comprises a  large number of scriptures and some excavated material dating back to earlier civilizations
 Also an art gallery was introduced in this complex in 1992. This museum is basically divided into three departments.
 

Sculptures

Sculptures constitute the most interesting section in the museum. This museum has some of the ancient, rare and unique piece which have been taken from Pushkar, Adhai-din-ka-jhonpra, Baghera, Pisangan, Harsnath (Sikar) Bharatpur, Sirohi, Arthuna and Osian.

These Sculptures range in date from Gupta period down to the 19th century A.D, signifies Jain faiths, Shiv and Vaishnava respectively. Among these patterns of art some of the fabulous master pieces like Shiv and Parvati (No. 13), Charturmukh Shivlinga’s (No. 15 & 16), Vishnu (No.50), Indra (No.55), Laxmi Narain (No.352), Kuber(No.54, 349, 356), marriage of Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh (No.206), Lingodbhav Maheswar (No. 374), Surya (No.370), Nakshatras (No.451), Ganesh (No. 1054), Vahah (No.448), etc.

A separate gallery of the museum also exhibits a wonderful collection of Jain figures which are very interesting. Most of the Jain statues of this Museum comes from Rajasthan as Rajasthan is a prominent hub of Jain culture. Some of the important collection of Jain sculptures in the museum comprise the statues of Kunthunath (No 1143), Yaksha Gaumukh (No 370), Shantinath (No 344-345), Mahaveer (No 279), Rishabnath (No 44), Parsvanath (No 56 & 17). The museum also exhibits statues of Saraswati (No 57-58), which is a very prominent attraction of the museum and is worth to visit this statue.  

Most of the collection of the sculptures of the museum belongs to the period of Chauhan rulers of Ajmer like, Someswar, Prathviraj IIIrd, Simhraj, Vigrahraj IInd, Vigrahraj IIIrd, Vigrahraj IVth, and Ajaydeo, it was the period from 10th century A.D. to 12th century A.D. During this era, growth is observed in every area of life. Important cultural hub in Rajasthan during this era was Ranthambhor, Sarwar, Naraina, Bisalpur, Baghera, Ajmer, Nadol. During this period architectural patterns of art and various activities of art were at the peak. The materials which were used during this era are white marble schist, granite, light sand stone, basalt, and in 11-12th century images (from Bhaghera) a fine grieved black soft stone which makes possible clear cut and excellent features of the figures and also high polished minute carving.  
 

Inscriptions  

In addition to the section of sculptures there is a distinctive and amazing collection of inscriptions in the museum which are mainly collected from different parts of Rajasthan and which draws attention of researcher’s.
Some of the important inscriptions in the museum include the following:
1) Inscriptions of Pushkar which contains the name of king Vakapatiraj. These inscriptions dates back to 10th century A.D.
2) Inscription of the time Great Prathviraj IIIrd V.S. 1234 (witness the structure of a vapi). In this collection of inscription a number of important copper plates were also added.
3) Inscription of the time of Chamundraj V.S 1137. 
4) Slab inscribed with Harkeli Natak 1153 A.D (Composed by Chauhan King Vigrahraj IVth).
5) Jodhpur inscription of Bauka dated V.S. 894 (it says the Pratihar's of Mandor are the descendants of the Brahamin Harishchandra and records the dates and names of his descendants up to Bauka).
6) Lalit Vigrahraj Natak Inscription during the period of Chauhan ruler Vigraraj IVth which is of 1153 A.D and is composed by court poet Somdeo. 
7) Rahomi inscription of Berli (Ajmer) which belongs to 2nd century B.C. It is also one of the earliest epigraph which was discovered in Rajasthan.
8) Baghri inscription of Vikram Samvat 481.

 

Arms and Armour

In the section arms and armaments a wide collection of weapons are displayed which are of battles of medieval period. These exhibits include kataar, swords, guns, dhal’s, dragger’s, jagnol and farsa.       

The weapons are of different varities and types which include different type of hilts and the amazing work on hilts. Some of the prominent weapons of the museum are kept under a pillow inside the museum which are only used in emergency, which includes various type of guns such as Topidar, Patharidar, Eknali, Ramchangi, Donali, Kartusi, Toderdar etc. In this section other remarkable instruments include a helmet which is adorned with spik, nose guard of a Rajput fighter and also a gun having a historical significance is also exhibited inside the museum.
 

Excavated material

These include historical objects and cast of seals with picture which were discovered by Mohanjodro. Most prominent among these materials include: images of Mother goddess, Bangles of clay, animal and human figures, bangles of copper, various type of bricks, wheel of toy cart, pieces of conch, small portion of carbonized wheat, knives or blade,  copper arrow head, stone for sharping tools, blade of an axe, Venus, needle, etc are 3000 year’s early to Christian era.
 

Art and Crafts

In the ancient times, the artists of this area did carving on ivory and wood also, as some examples of their craftsmanship are antimony boxes having applique and ivory work, goblets and vases, work on ivory comb, necklace, knife and brass which are fully decorated and carved. Other exhibits of this section include: marble plates, stone grinder, wooden dharau and pen holder and also some specimens of blue pottery.
 

Reserve collection 

A variety of objects are displayed inside the Reserve section of the Museum. Research scholars are allowed to visit this section and do photography and research only with prior permission of the Director, Archaeology and Museums, Rajasthan, Jaipur.
 

Reference Library 

This museum has a rich collection of reference books on history, and archaeology, Library of the museum has a collection of various books which are related to art, archaeology and history. Research scholars are allowed to go inside the museum. 
 

Organizational Set-up 

The museum of Ajmer is a Government institution and is under the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums Department, Govt. of Rajasthan Jaipur. It is under the administrative control of the Superintendent Archeology and Museums, Jaipur Circle, Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The staff of the museum consists of the Curator (Officer In-charge) Office Assists. Beside Gallery attendants and watch and ward staff.
 

Protected Monument Akbar’s Fort 

Akbar’s Fort was founded in 1570 A.D by Akbar who was a Mughal Emperor. It is a large square building with superior octagonal bastions at each corner. There is a very wonderful chamber of audience and a glorious gateway facing the town towards west, this fort was used as the dwelling of the emperor’s during their visit to Ajmer. Presently this fort is under the control of the State Government.
 

Rajput Warrior

Structure in the Museum

                       Weaponry of the Museum                                 Weapons Section
 

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