Museums: Intriguing architecture, culture and history
In a museum, both history and mystery unravel themselves with grace. It is like an art gallery where creativity can be seen and appreciated. The treasure-towers of rich and glorious past can be experienced by Museums of Uttar Pradesh. Visit one and find yourself virtually transported to the era of kings and queens!
There are nearly 100 museums in Uttar Pradesh with different themes like textile, geology, archaeology, religions, arts and crafts, anthropology and many more. While most of these are looked after by Ministry of Culture, there are few that are run by Non-profit organisations. The state homes the Allahabad Museum, one of the four national museums in the country. Archaeological museums like the one in Sarnath are cared by Archaeological Survey of India.
Interestingly, the Allahabad Museum also preserves several sculptures dating back to 2nd century in Bharhut district in Madhya Pradesh. These sculptures were a part of a famous Buddhist stupa located in Nagod town between Allahabad and Jabalpur. Due to the efforts of Pandit Brij Mohan Vyas, the executive officer of Allahabad Municipal Board in 1931, the museum acquired these sculptures as a part of its collection.
For those travelling to Sarnath, do not miss the archaeological museum which preserves the Lion Capital of Ashoka of 250 BC. Adopted as the ‘Emblem of India’, this capital was discovered by F.O. Oertel during 1904-05.
Opt for Uttar Pradesh Tourism to witness the marks of bullets fired on the walls of 1857 Memorial Museum, Residency, Lucknow. Spot the watercolour paintings of the famous buildings of Lucknow hung in the museum. ???
Following are some of the famous museums of Uttar Pradesh:
Allahabad Museum was founded in 1931 by the Uttar Pradesh Ministry of Culture. It is one of the well-maintained museums in country. It was inaugurated in 1947 by the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The building has 18 separate galleries each devoted to individual themes like art gallery, natural discoveries and artefacts given by Pandit Nehru himself.
Presumably, the museum also had a model of Pandit Nehru’s first house in Mirganj. It is said that it was removed after Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister. This house was built in a disputed area and the family did not want to reveal this to the nation.
It contains antique items belonging to Indus Valley civilisation, bronzes, miniature paintings, stone sculptures, and coins of Gupta age, Buddhist thangkas, seals and many other similar articles. Few personal documents of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru are also kept in the museum. The terracotta collection is the most striking exhibit of the site, being one of the largest collections of its type.
Excavations in Sarnath have been going on since a long time. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is still doing the excavations to know the exact age of this site. Sarnath Museum is the oldest site museum set up by ASI during 1904-1910. Some of the displays in the museum are as old as 3rd century BC.
The half of the building’s construction is done on the plan similar to that of a monastery. It has five galleries namely Tathagata, Triratna, Trimurti, Ashutosh and Shakyasimha. This capital has become an integral part of the Indian national flag.
Interestingly, it is said that the four animals embellished on the capital represent the four phases of Lord Buddha. Elephant represents the dream in which Lord Buddha’s mother had seen an elephant entering into her womb. Bull symbolises the desires of Gautama Buddha as a prince. Horse represents his leaving the luxurious life while lion stands for his enlightenment.
Government Museum, Mathura
Witness the best of Mathura School of Art’s creation in the Government Museum of Mathura. It is one of the famous museums of Uttar Pradesh founded in 1874 by Sir F. S. Growse. It was called as Curzon Museum of Archaeology in its earlier days.
The building of the museum is stunning in appearance. It is built of red sandstone and is octagonal in shape. Few sculptures belonging to Gupta and Kushan Empire are also kept in the exhibition. Gold and silver coins, bronzes, clay seals, paintings and pottery items belonging to ancient period are neatly arranged in the building for viewing.
It is interesting to note that museum shelters over 6000 stone-made artefacts, about 25,000 coins, 350 metal figurines, 415 paintings and 3000 terracotta items. A 3000-year-old copper-made human figure is a striking attraction of the museum. It was recovered during the excavation in Shahabad city.
1857 Memorial Museum, Residency, Lucknow
Lucknow is famous for its museum along with its royal culture and beautiful Chikan embroidery.
Residency is basically a cluster of ruins which served as the abode for the British General of India during 1800s. The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 had led to an uprising in the city leading to the abandonment of similar British havens.
The protection of the residency came in to the hands of state government in 1920. Since then they have been preserved in the same condition. The museum is an attempt to give an insight into the Indian rebellion of 1857 through the displays put in chronological order. It includes a plaster-made model of the Residency, weapons like guns and swords, badges, medals, and paintings.
Cannon and bullet shots can still be seen on the walls of the ruins. There is a graveyard with nearly 2000 graves located close to the site. Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence, British soldier who died during the mutiny also rests in this cemetery.
So, why wait? Do book for Uttar Pradesh Museum Tour Packages to unfurl the unknown facts of its rich history.
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