Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Museum

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Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Museum - Jaipur


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                                                             Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Museum
Introduction of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Museum

This museum main focus is on artifacts that were connected to Indian culture. This museum has wide collection of sculptures, paintings or carpets. The Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum is situated inside the City Palace complex at Jaipur. The museum has an excellent collection of the ancestral objects of Kachwaha clans of Amber.

City Palace is a very sprawling complex with its wonderful buildings and amazing collection of art and artifacts in Jaipur. A major part of the 'City Palace' is now converted into 'Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum'. It is also the dwelling of the Royal Family of Jaipur.

Located within the City Palace complex and nestled amidst older buildings, temples and the palace quarters, this museum was launched in 1959 by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. The artifacts comprise of the ancestral collections built up by the successive rulers of Amer and Jaipur, and are presently run by a public charitable trust.

Exhibits and Galleries of the Museum

A small collection of manuscripts, paintings, armours and weapons were displayed in the 'Pothikhana' (library) and the 'Silehkhana' or armoury of the palace. 'Pothikhana' and 'Silehkhana' were launched in 1952. The museum has a very unique collection. At that time, the museum was opened only to some special people only with the special permission of the Maharaja.

In the year 1959 a new gallery was added to the museum which is known as handicrafts and textiles gallery and the museum was opened to the public. Art gallery is situated in the Diwan-i-Aam, all the important state functions are organised in Diwan-i-Aam. In this gallery a large variety of exhibits are displayed which includes: Mughal ornamented bookcovers carpets, manuscripts, miniature paintings, palanquins, Howdahs, printed books, palm-leaf, gold and silver Takhis-Rawan, carriages ornamented with coverings of velvet etc.     

The museum has a splendid collection of miniature paintings including two unique and priceless manuscripts of the Persian translation of the two Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In addition to the finest miniatures of Amer-Jaipur school, evident in the illustrations of the Ragamala, BhagavataPurana, Devi Mahatma etc., good examples of early and later Mughal schools, Deccanese schools and fair specimens from Bikaner, Malwa, Bundi, Kota, Jodhpur, Kishangarh etc., are also represented.

The museum also exhibits an unusual manuscript on 146 forms of Saligram, Surdas' Padavali and the earliest copy of Bihari's Satsai. This manuscript collection consists of about 16,000 volumes. In addition to this the museum also has an old copy of the Ain-i-Akbari and its Hindi translation done in 1797 AD and a large collection of astronomical books in Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic, and Latin acquired by Sawai Jai Singh for study of the planets and their movements.   

Main Attractions of the Museum

'Silehkhana' or the Armoury section of the museum is situated in a wonderfully decorated suite of rooms. It contains one of the largest and prominent collections of weapons and traditional handguns in the country. The weapons section of the museum include 'talwars', Curved Mughal Shamshers, dagger-broad 'Jamdhars', curved 'Jamkhas', knives, narrow 'katars', double-edged 'Khandas', Persian Unnas, swords, ' Asas ' and ' Guptis ''Chhuris', axes, lances, , arrows of various patterns and 'hanbwas'.  

The large carpets displayed against the eastern and western walls of the art gallery were launched in the Mughal carpet factories at Agra and Lahore during the reign of Emperor Shahjahan. These carpet collection are collected by Mirza Raja Jai Singh to adorn some of his newly-built palaces at Amber. Besides these other objects on display in this section contains book covers, paper cuttings, postage stamps and coins of the old Jaipur State, old photographs and negatives, old furniture, glassware and other decorative objects of art.

Some of the swords are of great historical importance; there are two swords and a few with the names of Persian Emperors and Mughal Generals engraved on them, and many personal weapons of Maharaja Ram Singh, Madho Singh II etc. The most important exhibit is perhaps the unusually large brocaded Jama (a robe) and pyjama of Maharaja Madho Singh I. The Maharaja was no doubt of gigantic physical proportions.  

Textile and Costume Section

The Textile and Costume section of the Museum exhibits a large collection of old embroidered rugs, tent-hangings, decorated rosary-bags, Rath (a type of carriage) covers, caps, Thal-Poshes (dish covers) royal paraphernalia, Muslins from Dhaka, Bandhej (tie and dye) pieces from Jaipur, Kashmir shawls, fine loom, Kimkhabs (brocades) from Aurangabad, Banaras and Surat, hand block prints from Sanganer and other localities, Unique Rajasthani costumes used over the ages, Richly decorated costumes worn by the different Maharajas and their relatives, Zari (gold thread) and Gota (gold or silver frill) works, for which Jaipur has always been very well-known.

                         Outside View of Museum                            Inside View of beautiful Museum
                     Beautiful Paintings and Views of Museum                           Tourists Visiting Museum      

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