Rajasthan - Museums and Art Galleries in Rajasthan

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Museums and Art Galleries in Rajasthan

To preserve the heritage and culture of Rajasthan, the palaces and forts of erstwhile rulers of Rajasthan were converted into museums, art galleries and archaeological sites. These museums have rare and unique collection of arms, weapons, stuffed animals, paintings, manuscripts, potteries, photographs, ornate mirrored furniture, Persian carpets, vintage cars, etc. Some of the important museums of Rajasthan are located in Jaipur, Ajmer, Alwar, Kota, Ranthambore, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Bharatpur.

 
Museums in Ajmer
Government Museum:
Government Museum, situated in the heart of the old city of Ajmer is housed in the beautiful palace built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1570. It was here that the British General Sir Thomas Roe met Emperor Jahangir in 1616. In the museum are the palace quarters where the emperors lived. After the British rule in 1818 and during the first war of Independence in 1857 these palace quarters were used as the Rajputana Arsenal by the British.

Archaeological Museum:
Archaeological Museum is located in the Dil-e-Aaram Gardens of Ajmer and established in 1949. An Art Gallery was inaugurated in 1992 in this complex. This museum is divided into three sections. This museum has the collection of sculptures and some excavated material of earlier civilizations.

 
Museums in Alwar
Alwar Government Museum:
The government museum is housed in the old City Palace. This museum has a unique collection of arms, lacquered brassware and ivory work items, musical instruments, stuffed animals, pottery works, miniature paintings and Persian and Sanskrit manuscripts. The museum is divided into three major sections, each housed in a big hall.
 


Virat Nagar Museum:

In the epic period, the area around the district of Jaipur, Alwar and Bharatpur came to be known as Matsyadesh with Virat Nagar as its capital. Frequent references of Matsyadesh have been made in the Indian epic-the Mahabharat. The Virat Nagar museum has the richest collection of excavated material like potteries, paintings, old coins, seals, metallic pieces, weapons and statues.

 
Museums in Bharatpur

Bharatpur Government Museum:
Bharatpur Government Museum is located in the centre of the famous Lohagarh Fort. The Bharatpur Museum houses a rich collection of archaeological wealth of the nearby areas and as well as from the old Bharatpur State. This museum exhibits some of the sculptures found during the excavation of old villages e.g. Noh, Mailah, Bareh, Bayana etc. ranging from the Kuslian period.

 
Museums in Chittorgarh
 
Fateh Prakash Palace Museum:
Inside the historical Chittorgarh Fort, one big portion of the Fateh Prakash Palace was converted into a museum in 1968. It has a great collection of sculptures. The important sculptures are of Lord Ganpati from Pangarh, Indra and Jain Ambica statues from Rashmi village of post medieval period. Some weapons, daggers and arms are also displayed in the museum.

Dungarpur Museum:
This newly constructed museum was opened to public in 1988. The sculpture gallery of the museum throws light on the history of Vagad Pradesh that was spread over the present areas of Dungarpur, Banswara and Kherwara of Udaipur district.

 
Museums in Jaipur
 

Albert Hall Museum:
Albert Hall Museum is located in the centre of the sprawling Ram Niwas Bagh. This is the oldest museum in the state of Rajasthan. It was built in 1876 when King Edward VII visited India. Albert Hall museum was opened to public in 1896.

Modern Art Gallery:
Modern art gallery is a small gallery in the first floor of the Ravindra Manch Auditorium. This gallery shows a selection of works by the well known modern artists of Rajasthan.

Hawa Mahal Museum:
Just behind the beautiful Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) in the adjoining Pratap Mandir is the Hawa Mahal Museum. This museum was setup in the year 1973. This museum has the sculptural heritage collected from Ganeshwar, Virat Nagar, Raid, Sambhar and Nagar.

Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum:
Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum is located within the City palace complex. This museum was founded in 1959 by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. It exhibits ancestral collections of the successive rulers of Amber and Jaipur.

Sea Shell Museum
It is a private museum owned by Rustomjee Memorial Foundation and all the exhibits are those that have been given away by Alice Garg and her husband, Krishna Garg from their private collection. Also, it is the first and only museum in India dedicated entirely to seashells.

 
Museums in Jaisalmer

Folklore Museum:
Folklore museum is divided into six sections and has a rich collection of paintings, photographs, costumes, hair styles and jewellery, utility articles of rural life, camel and horse decorations, fossils, ornamental arches, as well as articles connected with folk and cultural lifestyles. 

Government Museum:
The Government museum in Jaisalmer was opened in 1974. It houses a large collection of wood and marine fossils and gives an insight into the geological past of the area. The sculptures from the ancient townships of Karamu and Lour dating back to the 12th century pulsate with youth and grace and depict the skill of the time.

 
Museums in Jodhpur

Government Museum:
Government Museum is located in the Umaid gardens and has a large and fairly interesting collection. There are many stuffed animals, including a number of desert birds in two glass cases, each with a thorn bush. The military section includes cumbersome wooden biplane, models and an extraordinary brass battleship.

 
Museums in Kota

Government Museum:
Government museum was originally located in the Hawa Mahal just above the entrance of the fort. This museum has now been shifted to the Brij Vilas Palace and now has a new display and decor.

Archaeological Museum:
Archaeological museum possesses several hundred sculptures from different cultural centers of the region. These sculptures belong to the period from 8th to the 12th century AD and as well as of the Gupta period (4th to 5th century AD). Sculptures worth mentioning are Shesh Sayi Vishnu from Badoli (Chittorgarh), Jain image of Vardhaman from Baron and a dancing pair from Ramgarh. A few inscriptions are displayed in the museum. Coins discovered from various sites of Kota region are preserved and displayed in the numismatic section. Most of the coins belong to the Mughal and Rajput kingdom.

 
Museums in Udaipur

City Palace Museum:
The huge City Palace, towering over the Pichola Lake, is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Maharaja Udai Singh, the founder of the Udaipur constructed the City Palace. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum with a large and varied collection. The City Palace museum was established in 1890 and is one of the earliest museums of the state. In this museum there is the Mor Chowk with the beautiful peacocks in mosaic. The Manka (Ruby) Mahal in this museum has glass and porcelain figures while Krishna Vilas has a remarkable collection of miniatures. Some paintings can also be seen in the Zanana Mahal. The Moti Mahal has beautiful mirror work and the Chini Mahal is covered in ornamental tiles. This museum also has the arms of Maharana Pratap and drums and amunitions of Rana Sanga, the ruler of Mewar.

Government Museum:
The Government Museum Of Udaipur was originally located in Gulab Bagh and was called Victoria Hall Museum. It has now been shifted to Karan Vilas Mahal within the premises of the City Palace. This museum highlights the culture and heritage of Rajasthan and has an extensive collection of excavated items, inscriptions, sculptures, paintings and handicrafts. The inscriptions in this museum belong to the period from 2nd century BC to 15th century AD. The antiques of the plastic art of Mewar also adds attraction to the museum. The most remarkable collection in this museum is that of more than nine thousand miniature paintings of Mewar school from the period of Maharaja Jagat Singh to Maharaja Swaroop Singh. It has a Children Gallery which has models of animals like tiger, deer, etc. The museum also has a collection of colourful Mewari turbans.

Shilp Gram:
The Shilp Gram is located near Fateh Sagar which is about 6 km from the City Palace. In the Shilp Gram a village has been created with 26 replica huts which gives a glimpse of the tribal life of Rajasthan.

 
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