Monday, January 26, 2015

Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

Hyderabad trip part - 4
The Salar Jung Museum of Hyderabad is a repository of the artistic achievements of diverse European, Asian and Far Eastern countries of the world. The major portion of this collection was acquired by Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan popularly known as Salar Jung III. The zeal for acquiring art objects continued as a family tradition for three generations of Salar Jungs.
 In 1914, Salar Jung III, after having relinquished the post of Prime Minister to H.E.H., the Nizam VII, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan, devoted rest of his entire life in collecting and enriching the treasures of art and literature till he lived. The precious and rare art objects collected by him for a period of over forty years, find place in the portals of the Salar Jung Museum, as rare to very rare pieces of art.

 After the demise of Salar Jung-III, the vast collection of precious art objects and his Library which were housed in "Dewan-Deodi" the ancestral palace of the Salar Jungs, the desirability of organizing a Museum out of the Nawab's collection dawned quite soon and Sri M.K. Velodi, the then Chief Civil Administrator of the Hyderabad State approached Dr.James Cousins a well known art critic, to organize the various objects of art and curios which were lying scattered in different palaces of Salar Jung III to form a Museum.

 With a view to perpetuate the name of Salar Jung as a world renowned art connoisseur, the Salar Jung Museum was brought in to existence and was opened to the public by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India on 16th December, 1951.

 However, the administration of the Museum continued to be vested in the Salar Jung Estate Committee till 1958. Thereafter, the heirs of Salar Jung Bahadur graciously agreed to donate the entire collection to the Government of India through a Compromise Deed based on a High Court Decree on 26th December l958.
 The Museum continued to be administered directly by the Government of India till 1961. Through an Act of Parliament (Act of 26 of 1961) the Salar Jung Museum with its Library was declared to be an Institution of National Importance. The administration was entrusted to an Autonomous Board of Trustees with the Governor of Andhra Pradesh as its Ex-officio Chairman and ten other members representing the Government of India, the State of Andhra Pradesh, Osmania University and one from the family of Salar Jungs.
 The Museum has a magnificent global collection of art objects and antiques not only of Indian origin, but mostly from countries Western, a sizable collection hails from Middle Eastern and Far Eastern origins. Apart from these, there is a Children's section, a rich reference library which contains reference books, large collection of rare manuscripts etc. Thus, this Museum has become popular, not only as a place of interest but also as an institution for education.

 Out of the several rare objects, one of the important and interesting object collected by Salar Jung I was “Vellied Rebecca” an enchanting marble statue which was acquired by him from Rome in 1876 during his visit to Italy.  The western collection are from England, Ireland, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany.  A set of Ivory chairs said to have been presented by Louis XVI of France to Tippu Sultan of Mysore deserve special mention.  A jade book-stand “Rehal” having the name of ‘Shamsuddin Altamish’, an archer’s ring inscribed with the legend Sahib-e-Quran-e-Sani, title of the Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan are masterpieces.
 A dagger and a fruit knife made in jade decorated with precious stones are said to belong to Jehangir and Noorjehan respectively.  A good number of Indian Miniature Paintings in early style of Western India of 14th and 15th Centuries representing Krishna Leela themes are also form part of the Museum’s Collection.
 There are good numbers of Arabic and Persian Manuscripts dated to 19th century and Shah-nama by Furadausi are also among the valuable collection of the Museum. A rare manuscript entitled ‘Lilawati” on mathematics and an ancient medical encyclopaedia transcribed in India is in the collection. Oil and water paintings form an important part of the European collections. 

Ref : Salar Jung Museum official website

5 comments:

Arun Prasadh said...

Beautifully carved sculptures. Must visit place in Hyderabad.

Ashok said...

Nice Museum

Color Holidays said...

Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging.
hill stations tours packages

anjali gupta said...

Hi..Very nice blog post. I really loved the pictures you have shared. Salar Jung Museum is famous for being the third- largest museum in the country, the museum boasts of having the largest antiques collection.

Khushi R said...

Nice post on Salar Jung Museum with beautiful pictures. The museum enriches the visitors with treasures of art and literature. It has abundance of treasures of the Nizams. Visitors should know the Salar Jung museum timings before planning a visit.