Salar Jung Museum
Attractions of A Century
Salar Jung Museum is the passion and dream of one man, brought to life. Mir Yusuf Ali Khan, also known as Salar Jung 3, was the creator of this exceptional world of collections. He was then the prime minister of Nizam of Hyderabad. The museum is home to some of most enticing art collections in the world. It is the third largest museum in India and the biggest one man collection of antiques in the world. He spent a huge amount of his earnings in collecting the antiques. For more than 35 years of his life, he was on look out for precious items that he can add to his treasure. Some of the items that are put on display were acquired by him from his father Mir Laiq Ali Khan (Salar Jung 2) and grandfather Nawab Mir Turab Ali Khan (Salar Jung 1). The museum has been declared as an Institute of National Importance.
Salar Jung Museum was opened to public on 16th December 1951. The museum earlier was in the ancestral palace of Mir Yusuf Ali Khan known as 'Diwan Deodi'. It was a private museum which was inaugurated by then prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1968, entire museum was shifted to its present location in Afzalgunj.
What To See
With well over 40000 art items and 50000 books, Salar Jung Museum is a fortune for any art lover. The priceless collection consists of articles from all parts of the world. The stack has Indian art, Islamic art consisting of numerous illuminated Korans, European displays, Persian carpets and Middle and Far Eastern art. Indian art collects. The rich collection of Indian art contains stone sculptures, metal wares, and paintings. The most popular display is definitely the Veiled Rebecca made by Italian Sculptor Giovanni Maria Benzoni. It is an amazing white marble statue which is splendidly carved.
It is not the big displays that catch your attention. It's the small objects like Jahangir's dagger, Noor Jehan's fruit Knife, the man-woman statue and jeweled swords that make you gasp in awe. The collection of weapons and books is also quite appealing. The most cared for display in Salar Jung Museum are the many manuscripts that have been collected from around the world. Also notice the 100 year old clock that still is in perfect working condition. It is a great attraction for the kids as every hour, image of a bird comes out of the clock. A complete gallery is dedicated to items that interest small children like toys, model trains and puppets from all over the world. There are around 38 rooms in the building over which the collection is spread. There are 20 rooms on the ground floor and 18 on the first floor.
Salar Jung Museums is open on all days except Fridays and on all public holidays. You can visit the museum between 10 AM till 5 PM. There is a nominal entry fee to the museum. There is a cafeteria and sales counter and reference libraries. Salar Jung Museum in Afzalgunj is located in the heart of Hyderabad and is well connected by buses and other mode of transportation in the city.
Salar Jung Museum gives us an insight into the lifestyle of many civilizations that preceded us. Build with the dedication and passion of one man, it has mesmerized one and all. Not only India, it shows us articles collected from around the world. Visit Salar Jung Museum to get a glimpse of the lost world and traditions.
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