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Museums and Galleries

Though the glorious art of Rajasthan is fading away, the museums and art galleries of Rajasthan showcase the colourful past. Witnessing the massive forts, huge palaces and intricately carved temples of colourful tribes and brave warriors, of unrivalled form of arts and crafts, unique dance and music traditions becomes a breathtaking experience. Its vast network of Museums in large and small towns, archaeological sites and the recently opened museums and art galleries in the palaces of former rulers of old states have preserved this great heritage.

Ajmer Government Museum : This museum is housed in the beautiful fort and palace built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1570. It is centrally located and close to the railway station It was here that the British envoy Sir Thomas Roe met Emperor Jahangir in 1616. What is today commonly known as Magazine is the palace quarters where the emperors lived. After British occupation in 1818 and during the first war of Independence in 1857 it was used as the Rajputana arsenal by the British who named it as magazine.

Alwar Government Museum:
Housed in the old City Palace, the museum is divided into three vast sections, each housed in a big hall displaying a unique collection of arms, bidri work, lacquered and ivory work, musical instruments, stuffed animals, beautiful brass and pottery works from Jaipur, Multan, Bengal and Ceylon, miniature paintings and Persian and Sanskrit manuscripts.

Amer (Jaipur) Archeological Museum:
This museum is located in the Dil-e-Aaram Gardens, of Amer, the ancient capital of Jaipur. It was established in 1949. Prior to this, the excavated material from Rairh, Bairat, Sambhar, Nagar etc. and the sculptures and epigraphs collected 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. An Art Gallery was inaugurated in 1992 in this complex. The museum is divided into three sections.

Bairat Virat Nagar Museum : Virat Nagar was the capital of the legendary Matsayadesli. The museum, although not very large has the richest collection. The excavated material like potteries, pikkins, old coins, seals, metallic pieces, weapons and statues are exhibited here.

Bharatpur Covernaient Museum : 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 as from the old Bharatpiir State. The huge palatial building Kachahari Kalan, once the administrative block of the rulers of Bharatpur state, was converted into a Museum in 1944. Lateron, the Kamra Khas (personal chamber) building on the first floor was added to the museum. It exhibits sculptures found during the excavation of old villages e.g. Noh, Mailah, Bareh, Bayana etc. ranging from the Kuslian period. Fort Museum, Junagarh Fort, Bikaner : Ganga Mahal, the imposing halls added by Maharaja Gailga Singh, now houses the Fort Museum. It contains a fine collection of antique Rajput weaponry, jade handle daggers, camel hide (shields) and inlaid handguns and camel guns. Gold and silver howdahs, jhulas, kis and a First World War biplane can be seen here. Other important objects include a pair of drums belonging to Jamblioji, the saint who predicted the foundation of the dynasty by Rao Bika for 450 years.

Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, Bikaner :
Established near the Lailgarh Palace in 1937 on the eve of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Maharaja Gaiiga Singh this Museum is now run by the Government of Rajasthan. In 1954, it was shifted to a new building in the Civil Lines. Some principal sections of the museum are:

Maharaja Ganga Singh Memorial section displays local Arts and Crafts, History, Sculpture, Terracotta and Bronzes Armory, Miniature Paintings and Folk-Arts Dr. L.P. Tessitori Memorial Section displays litho prints of the British Interpretation of the war of Independence 1857.

Chittaurgarh - Fateh Prakash Palace Museum : Historical Chittaurgarh Fort also known as Fateh Prakash Palace was converted into a museum in 1968. It has a great collection of sculptures. Amongst the important ones are Ganpati (8-9th century) from Pangarh, Indra and Jain Ambica statues from Rashmi village of mediaeval period.

Dungarpur Museum : A newly constructed museum named 'Rajmata Devendra Kunwar State Museum and Cultural Centre, Dungarpur' 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 Tehsil Kherwara of Udaipur district.

Albert Hall Museum : Located in the centre of the sprawling Ram Niwas Bagh, this is the oldest Museum in the State. It was built in 1876 when King Edward VII visited India as the Prince of Wales. It was opened to public in 1886.

Modern Art Gallery / Ram Niwas Bagh : A small gallery in the first floor of the Ravindra Manch Auditorium shows a selection of works by the well known modern artists and sculptors of Rajasthan.

Hawa Mahal Museum - Jaipur : Just behind the beautiful Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) in the adjoining Partap Mandir, a museum was setup in the year 1983. The museum showcases the sculptural heritage from Ganeshwar, Virat Nagar, Raid, Sambhar and Nagar.

Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, Jaipur : Located within the City Palace Complex and nested amidst old buildings, temples and the palace quarters, this museum was founded in 1959 by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. It exhibits ancestral collections built up by the successive rulers of Amer and Jaipur.

Jaisalamer Folklore Museum :A well organised museum is divided into six sections. It has a rich collection of paintings, photographs, costumes, hairstyles 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 Govt. museum in Jaisalmer is situated on Police Line Road near Moomal Hotel. It was opened in 1984. It houses a large collection of wood and marine fossils and gives an insight into the geological past of the area. Sculptures from the ancient townships of Kiradu and Lodurva dating back to the 12th century depict the skill and grace of the time.

Government Museum : It is situated in the old Garh Palace near Bhawani Natya Shala. The sculptures and architectural fragments of the 8th century city of the Chandravati and sculptures and epigraphs from the Jhalrapatan region are displayed in its galleries.

Government Museum :
Located in the Umaid gardens on High Court Road, it has a large and fairly interesting collection. There are many stuffed animal, including a number of desert birds. The military section includes cumbersome wooden biplane models and an extraordinary brass battleship.

Mehrangarh Fort Museum : An excellent museum with rare and interesting artifacts, textiles, paintings, transport items etc. laid out with utmost care and thought. The Palanquin and Howdah Galleries display a superb collection of old and costly specimens of great historical value.

Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum:
The ruling family of Jodhpur has recently converted a part of the gigantic Umaid Bhawan Palace as a palace museum. Items on display are rare collection of rocks, watches, fine china, ornate mirrored furniture, glass and crystal ware, photographs etc.


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