With passing time, humans die and cease to exist. Along with humans their beliefs; traditions; enculturation and socialization; knowledge; art; with perishing customs and habits. Leaving behind things that turn out to be precious today. Museums is a space that accumulates and showcases things from the past. It doesn’t play a role just as a witness from history. However, shows us what we have already left and forgotten. They are a superlative piece of art reviving history.
They impart the treasured knowledge of yesteryear culture and civilization. It displays the beauty of rich architecture and culture from the past. Tourists around the globe gravitate towards museums. As it has imprints, the civilization of the former time, invaluable antiques, and other extravagant royal collections. These exhibit that the state is persistent in maintaining the heritage and inheritance of history.
Rajasthan formerly known as Rajputana means The Land of Kings. Back in time, many communities resided in Rajasthan like Jats, Meenas, Gurjars, and Rajputs who ruled the state for a long time. This overemphasizes the heritage site, glorious forts, magnificent monuments, rich culture, ancient art and craft of the state. Indicating the richness of history and the kings who ruled Rajasthan from time to time.
Let’s take a small excursion to the museums of Rajasthan and get an insight into a culturally diverse state.
Jaisalmer Government Museum, Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Government Museum, established in 1984 by the Department of Archeology. It is a famous hotspot for tourists from all around the world. The fundamental reason to build it was to accentuate the multifaceted traditions and heritage of the Thar Desert. In fact, it displays some rare and astounding paintings. Ancient traditional household items, jewelry, statues, coins, handicrafts, and embroidered dresses from 7th to 8th century AD. This museum of Rajasthan adds more richness to the culture and tradition.
Ahar Museum, Udaipur
Next, Ahar is a small town 3 km from the city of Udaipur. In this museum, the cremation of 19 rulers of Mewar took place, consisting of 19 chhatris for each. It has more than 250 mesmerizing cenotaphs of the rulers of Mewar nearly 350 years ago. The museum also houses a rich collection of iron objects; earthen pots- a great highlight. the metal idol of Lord Buddha dating back to the 10th century and many other unique sculptures. Ahar Museum has a vast collection of items brought from the excavation of the 4000-year-old site of Dhulkot.
Bharatpur Palace and Museum, Bharatpur
The magnificent Bharatpur Palace and Museum has a fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The museum is located within the palace at “Kamra Khas” housing a wide range of artifacts and ancient antiques. Total 581 stone sculptures and more than 860 local art and craft pieces and other remembrances of Bharatpur’s past. The walls and ceilings of the palace are beautified with murals, paintings, and artistic designs.
Prachina Museum, Bikaner
The erection of Prachina Museum is inside the pride of Bikaner, Junagadh Fort. This cultural center is a brainchild of Princess Siddhi Kumari, daughter of the former king of Bikaner who died in 2000. The grand museum exhibits the royal outfits worn by the female members of the royal family. Also detailed textile, modern art, religious and delicate accessories, and portraits of rulers of Bikaner. There is also a fine collection of cut glass decorative objects, European wine glasses, rugs and carpets, and crockery used in royal kitchens.
Ajmer Government Museum, Ajmer
The then Director-General of Archaeology in India, Lord Carson, and Sir John Marshall established the museum in October 1908. Ajmer Government Museum is a tourist attraction, located in the Akbari Fort, commissioned by Akbar in 1570. The galleries include arts, armory, crafts, industry, and sculptures. Most popular sculptures of Vishnu, Trimurti, Hariharan, Kuber, Revanta, Lakshmi, Surya, and many more.
Anokhi Museum, Jaipur
Anokhi museum is famous for its renowned block printing garments. It aims at promoting the old form of Rajasthan. It houses the best block printing garments showcasing the in-depth look on an ancient tradition. In fact, it holds more than a hundred hands printed garments along with intricate textiles and tools used for the same. It undertakes various educational programs, workshops, and demonstrations. They are related to blocking carving, printmaking, and as such.
Jhalawar Government Museum, Jhalawar
The Government Museum Jhalawar, established in 1915 counted as one of the oldest museums of Rajasthan. Situated outside the fort palace of Jhalawar. Inscriptions, rare manuscripts, sculptures and statues, and many paintings from the 5th and 7th centuries can be witnessed.
Jaigarh Arms Museum, Amer
600 years old Jaigarh Fort of Amer comprises of Arms Museums inside it. Moreover, there are two galleries, Armoury gallery and War and Peace gallery. The Armoury gallery houses cannons made in Jaigarh, shields, helmets, axes, rifles, swords, daggers, and weapons from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Whereas War and Peace, the gallery showcases the military and diplomatic careers of two kings of Jaipur through pictures and paintings.
The Crystal Gallery, Udaipur
Established in 1877, when Maharana Sajjan Singh ordered the crystal collection from the Birmingham-based F&C Osler company. Though he died before the boxes arrived and each pack of crystals remained unboxed for 110 years. Later the crystal gallery opened in 1994 at Fateh Sagar Palace of Udaipur. It consists of a variety of items from all around the world. Along with that it also includes exquisite crystal items like crockery, dresses, a dining table, and mirrored tabletops. Also washing bowls, sofa sets, a crystal bed and imposing jewel-encrusted carpet, and many more.
Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Jawahar Kala Kendra is a cultural center. The performance of classical and folk art forms takes place at the museum, celebrating Jaipur heritage. Built by the Rajasthan government to preserve Rajasthan art and craft. Furthermore, it provides space like an art-studio, auditorium, art display room, and many more.
Sri Sadul Museum, Bikaner
This museum of Rajasthan is on the second floor of Lalgarh palace. Built in the memory of the great kings of Bikaner, Maharaja Ganga Singh, Sadul Singh, and Karni Singh. Sadul Singh was also a lieutenant. Also, a particular section of the museum has all the achievements and articles of these kings. It has also housed Georgian era art in the form of paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts. Also, there is a part of the palace where the royal dynasty even lives today.
Dolls Museum, Jaipur
Dolls Museum is located inside the premises of Albert Hall Museum. It was built in 1974 a major attraction for the localities and tourists. It was specifically raised to showcase the culture with aid of dolls, their attire, accessories, and others. You may see dolls wearing different attires reflecting different states like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Assam, Kashmir, Punjab, and as such. You may see dolls wearing bridal outfits of different states. Also, dolls displaying traditional dance forms like Kathakali, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, and others. A wide range of dolls is accumulated based on varied categories.
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The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur
The Sculpture Park is the first contemporary public sculpture park in India. It turned a 19th-century fortress into an extravagant Sculpture gallery. Artists from India and also other counties jointly installed structural art form. There are moreover around 61 contemporary artworks displayed throughout the space.
Vintage and Classic Car Museum, Udaipur
The museum is adorned with exclusive beauty and a storehouse of historical significance. It is also a heritage site as it showcases the most exquisite collection of royal cars. It has also collected many vintage automobile models used by the Mewar dynasty of Udaipur.
Rao Madho Singh Museum, Kota
It is housed in the Old Palace of Kota. This museum is also popular as ‘Maharao Madho Singh museum’. It then has an incredible collection of rich and ancient sculptures, mural, paintings, and miniature paintings. Extravagant royal armory, frescos, other artifacts, and documents also backing to history.
Jaisalmer War Museum, Jaisalmer
Lastly, this museum was made to honor the soldiers of the ‘Battle of Longewala’ at a military station in 1971. It also has an Honour hall. The names of award winners of Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra are engraved. The museum also had murals of soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the war. Tanks, guns, military vehicles, vintage equipment, and weapons used by martyrs are also on display.
Also follow Rajasthan Studio on Instagram for more amazing art and travel content. Reach out to us on email at contact[at]rajasthanstudio[dot]com. This blog is curated by Rajasthan Studio and written by Hitanshi shah.