The Salar Jung Museum


Dear friends we will see the history of Salar Jung Museum.

The Salar Jung Museum is an art museum at Dar-Ul-Shifa, on the southern bank of the Musi river in the city of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Salar Jung museum is the third largest museum in India housing the biggest one-man collections of antiques in the world.

This museum has the greatest collection of rare antiques and bric-a-bracs from all over the world. It is well known throughout India for its prized collections belonging to different civilizations dating back to the 1st century. Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III (1889-1949), former Prime Minister of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, spent a substantial amount of his income over 35 years to make this priceless collection, his life's passion. The collections left behind in his ancestral palace, 'Diwan Deodi' were formerly exhibited there as a private museum which was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951. Later in 1968, the museum shifted to its present location at Afzalgunj and is administered by a Board of Trustees with the Governor of Andhra Pradesh as ex-officio chairperson under the Salar Jung Museum Act of 1961.

Every year a million visitors pay homage to this great repository of art and history. Legend has that the museum houses art collections of three generations of the Salar Jung family. One needs to devote an entire day for touring the museum itself.

The museum is dwelling to more than 43,000 art exhibits & 50,000 books collected from all over the world. Old timers believe that the present collection constitutes only half of the original art wealth amassed by Salar Jung III. His employees syphoned part of it, since Salar Jung was a bachelor and depended upon his staff to keep a watch. Some more art pieces were lost or stolen during the shifting of the museum from Dewan Devdi to the present site.

The magnificent expose reveals the art heritage of Middle East and Europe and includes Persian carpets, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquer ware, sculpture, invaluable collections of jade, bronzes, enamelware, paintings, wood and inlay work from Tibet, Nepal and Thailand , India, Asia, etc. There are Aurangzeb's sword, daggers belonging to empress Noor Jehan, emperors Jehangir and Shah Jehan, the turbans and chair of Tippu Sultan, furniture from Egypt, paintings etc. Among the sculptures stands out the world famous statue of Veiled Rebecca, her marvelous face hazily visible through; hold your breath, a marble but delicate blot out. The visitor may mistake it for a gorgeous woman draped in a wet garment. Equally captivating is a double-figure wood sculpture done by G.H. Benzoni, an Italian sculptor, in 1876. It stands before a mirror and shows the facade of a nonchalant Mephistopheles and the image of a demure Margaretta in the mirror.

Indian Art includes stone sculptures, bronze images, jade carvings, painted textiles, wood carvings, miniature paintings, modern art, ivory carvings, textiles, metal-ware, manuscript, arms & Armour etc. Middle Eastern Art contains the collection of carpets, paper (manuscripts), glass, metal-ware, furniture, lacquer etc. from Persia, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt. Collection of Far Eastern Art exhibit porcelain, bronze, enamel, lacquer ware, embroidery, painting, wood & inlay work from China, Japan, Tibet, Nepal and Thailand etc. Oil and watercolor paintings form an important part of the European Collection

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