State Museum Bhopal
The State Museum, Bhopal was inaugrated in new form in newly constructed building by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on 2nd November, 2005. Located on Shyamla Hills, the museum is one of the beautiful specimens of architecture. In fact, This museum was established in 1909 A.D. by then rule of Bhopal state as Edward museum and governed with the name of Ajayabghar in present central library’s building. After the formation of M.P. state, it was shifted to the building at Banganga road.
This museum contains outstanding art pieces & rare antiquities. Madhya Pradesh and having the display with eye-catching manner. There are, altogether 17 galleries in this beautiful building which are comprised of various subjects include thematic gallery, pre-history & fossils, excavated materials, metal images, inscriptions, sculptures, royal collections, textiles, freedom movement, postal stamps, autographs, manuscripts, paintings, coins, weapons, documents of medieval age and rare musical instruments.
Rare Musical Instruments
In this gallery, Mayuri Israj (Mayuri Veena), Sur Bahar, Chandra –Sarang, Israj, Vichitra Veena, Saraswati Veena, Sarangi, Hansa Bela, Sarod, Rabab, Sur Sringar, Dilruba, Sitar, Rudra Veena, Vyolin, Pakhawaj, Santoor, Shehnai, etc. musical instruments are displayed.
Metal Sculpture Gallery
This gallery displays 87 Jaina Bronze images procured from village Bhopawar of Dhar district. This rare hoard is consisted of all 24 Jaina Tirthankaras right from the first one named Adinatha to Mahavira , the 24th Tirthankara. These sculptures are in Meditation and Kayotsarga postures. The other sculptures are of Jaina Sasana deties, Yaksha-Yakshi such as Gomedh-Ambika, Matanga-Shruta-Devi, etc. all are assignable to 10th-11th century AD. Besides, other metal images are also displayed in this gallery which belong to the various dynasties and places such as Holkar, Scindhia and Nepalies sculptural art. In adition, Buddhist metal images along with the sculptures of Royal collection of Bhopal State, datable from 12th to 20th century AD have also been displayed here. The important among them are Surya image bearing Parmara inscription, Bhairava, Lakshmi, Nrisimha, Radha-Krishna, Mahisasuramardini, Vishnu, Royal images, and animal figures. Other unique feature of this gallery is the display of sculptures of overseas art which are either purchased or received as a gift by the Nawabs of Bhopal from Europe, China, Japan, Turky and Tibet. Such sculptures are of Cambodian lion, Roman soldier, Chinese king, etc.
This gallery is shown with coins ranging from Punch-mark (Ahat) to that of Maratha period expressing the growth & development of the Indian coinage. There are silver punch-marked coins, copper regional coins, Satavahana coins, Kushana coins, Kshatrapa coins, Naga coins, Indo-Scithian coins, Gupta gold coins,Chandella-Kalchuries gold coins, gold coins of Parmara rulers Udayaditya & Narvarman, gold coins of Chalukya & south Indian rulers and Gaddhaiyan coins. Besides, the gold and silver coins of Sultanate rulers, coins of Sershah, coins of Akbar, Jahangir, Aurengazeb and silver coins of later Mughal rulers have also displayed in this gallery. The gold coins of Mughal period are the centre of attraction over here. The other coins are of Scindhia, Holkar, British and the coins donated by Dr. Major Gupta of Burhanpur.
Ancient Inscriptions Gallery
The gallery is displayed with the stone & copper plate inscriptions procured from various places of a Madhya Pradesh. There are Prasasties and Danapatra issued by the Parmara , Pratihara kings. The important ones are a stone inscription of Paramara king Narvarman found from Amera (VIdisha), and a copper plate inscription of Pratihara king Malaya Varman found from Kurera (Shivpuri). Besides, there are other inscriptions of Devnagri, Sanskrit, Arabic and Naska in this gallery.
Miniture Painting Gallery
In this gallery, scenes of the Mahabhara, the Ramayana, Krishna-lila, various figures and the pictures of Mughal -Marathas rulers and Sardars have been displayed. Among these; the paintings of Barahmasa & Raga-Raginis based on Krishna-Radha are important. The displayed paintings are consisting of Sradha-karma of king Dasaratha, Ahilya-Uddhara,Sita-Swayambara,Bharat-Milap, Barahamasa, Mahabharta Scene, Badwanala,Dwarika Santhagara, and the ivory made figure of Akbar & Maharaja ranjeet Singh. The important paintings styles are of Rajput, Mughal, Malwa and Maratha. Besides, the paintings belong to Pahari, Kangra, Kota, Bundi, Nathdwara styles are also displayed in this gallery.
Bagh Caves Paintings Gallery
The Bagh caves are located about 140 km west of Indore in district Dhar at the left bank of Baghini river . The caves are positioned at a distance of 5km from Bagh village a little away on Bagh-Kukshi road. This place is located near ancient high way, which passed from North to South through Ajanta. During 3rd century and 5th to 7th century AD when Buddhism was at the climex in the western part of India; Chiniese travelers Fahiyan, Huyen-tsang and Suyantai came to India. The Bagh caves were excavated about 1600 years ago. The initial information on these caves can be obtained in the publications of first quarter of 20th century AD. The preservations of these paintings were done by the archeological department of then Gwalior state. The prepration of replicas of the Bagh paintings was started in 1920 and contnued till 1939-40. The mural paintings have various subjects such as flower, birds and animals. There are the figures of Buddhs, Bodhisattvas, Royal court, musical scenes, floral scrolls in Bagh caves. Buddha is shown in Dharmachakrapravartana posture. In one case, a scene of Kapilvastu has been depicted. In another case, a Naika is depicted playing musical instrument. The mural paintings of Bagh contain not only the religious scenes as that of Ajanta, but they are the composion of human sensation and consciousness. The Bagh caves are an outstanding gift of golden age of ancient India.
Arms & weapons play a vital role in human life. In the course of improvement of human- life a gradual development of arms & Armored is seen. In the beginning, man might have used mustika, tooth and animal horns. Later on, the tree-branches were used as weapons. In stone age stone tools were used but in the age of metal, the arms & armoury got a new technique life & shape which continued for a long time. With the passage of time; fire-weapons, cannons and guns took place and old weapons became lesser important. The weapons of Maratha forces were of five types. They adopted new arms but did not ignore old ones. The Holkar rulers used various kinds of swords such as tega and double edged sword, etc. There were many types of daggers in Holkar period. Among these Jamdadu, Chilnuma, triangle dagger, Jamdhar, Daulikaneh, Bhichwa, etc. are important. Holkars used guja, jiraha- bhaktar,shield, axes, technique, gupti and knife in the wars. Although, the use of cannons was iniciated during the time of Iltusmish but, the certain speciman of cannons were introduced by Mughal king Babar and by following them Holkars manufectured other cannons. The largest number of cannons were manufectured by Maharaja Yashwantray Holkar First in his capital Bhanpura which were used by Malharrao Holkar Second and Harirao Holkar. These were also used during 1857 war of independence. There are some important guns and rifles used by the Holkars. Among them, Machloue, Flintlock, Carabine, Musket, percussion, Capped gun, Binchester gun and Rifils are noteworthy.In addition, there are Karabeen, Todadar, and Tamancha guns of Scindhia period.
Stone, copper, iron and silver were such mediums for writings; selected as per the availability and the nature of inscriptions. Bhoja-patra & Tada-patra were the most common mediums for writing of long books and inscriptions in ancient India. Then, paper came in to existance and subsequently, many manuscripts, and replicas were prepared.Besides, cotton cloth was also used in writing. This gallery contains a grand poem known as “Shri Naishdhiyacharitam” composed in Samvat 1756 and written on paper in Devnagri script and Sanskrit language. This was copied by Shri Yashodevsuri. This text was received from Shri Bhairolalji of Chandwasa, district Mandsaur. This copy of text Rasara written by the poet Matiram of Ritikal is incomplete in the beginning. The word ‘य’is written as ‘प’. This poem was copied by Shri Lalgajadhar in Devnagri script and Hindi language in Samvat 1898. The word ‘ब’ is also written as ‘व’ too in this poem. This incomplete Teeka was written in Devnagri script and Hindi language. There is no name of scriptor and time. A manuscript Hanuman wiruawali of Tulsidas copied by Shivalal Rawat of Maihar in 1880 in Devnagri script and Hindi language.
Several towns of ancient civilizations came in to the light during the course of archaeological excavations. Harappa & Mohen-jo-daro of Indus valley civilization are the wonderful examples of it. The proto-historic culture in Madhya Pradesh began from Chalcolithic period when human kind had started harvesting. Along with this, the use of copper came into being. The evidences of this culture can be observed at Besnagar, Mandsaur, Kayatha, Maheshwara-Navadatoli, Modi, Awara, Eran, Nagda, Pipalyalorka, Azadnagar (Indor), Dangvada, etc. The excavations at these sites reveal the glimpses of the life styles of those people. The beautiful pottery of this period posses significant paintings. The contemporary people used to live in huts but people also organized their coloney.
In this gallery showcases the antiquities displayed in unearthed from the excavations at Runiza (Ujjain), Dangawada (Ujjain), Sarangpur (Rajgarh), Atutdakhas (Khandwa), Pipalyalorka (Raisen), Besnagar (Vidisha), Pitnagar(Khargon), Sawatpur (Sehore), Gangakheri (Bhopal), Ninnor (Sehore), Mandsaur, Pawaya (Gwalior) and Mohen-jo-daro.
Freedom Movement Gallery
Bundella Uprising, 1842, The Great Revolution, 1857, Freedom Movement, 1920-1947.
Displayed Important Inscriptions: The inscriptions related to the great Bundella documents uprising 1842 and first war of 1857 are displayed in this gallery. The information regarding help of the traders to Nawab Sikandarjahan Begum for escaping her from Sehore to Bhopal(1857), the attack of Sujat Khan and his 70 followers on Barashiya (1857), the British capture on Gwalior fort (1857), the declaration of reward to capture Nana Saheb (1857), the flee of Narayan Singh from the prison (1857), letter in the name of Tatya Tope from Raja Mardan Singh(1857), letter of Rani Lakshmibai to Rani Larahi Dulleya(1857), letter of Raja Mardan Singh to Nana Saheb(1857), the British capture on Delhi and arrest of Delhi emperor(1858), the declaration to arrest of Tatya Tope and Rao Saheb(1858), the list of troops involved in uprising or those having been taken from the army(1858).
The documents highlighting the freedom movement are also kept here. They are associated with the Jallianwala bag massacre (1919), informaion on Surajmal Jain(1923), the speaches of people of Indore during civil disobedience movement of Mahatma Gandhi(1930), the disruption during processions in Indore(1930), the letters of freedom fighter Lufta-ul-Ullah Khan Nazmi (1941), Shakir Ali Kahan(1941), and a medical report of Sperintendent of Jail, Bhopal(1941), the activities of Congress(1942), the movement of Gwalior -students (1942), the ban on publicity of hunger strike of Gandhiji in Gwalior State(1943), the prayers for Mahatma Gandhi(1943),the ban on news papers regarding Subhash Chandra Bose(1944) and on celebration of his birth date(1946), etc. In addition of these documents the photographs of important personalities and events have also been displayed.
This gallery displayes the summary of all sculptural styles of Madhya Pradesh. The sculptures displayed in this gallery are datable from 2nd century BC to 13th century AD which are not only portraying the art styles of a particular period but also reveal the regional pattern of the same.
This gallery possesses the Stupendous and rare sculptures of various museums of Madhya Pradesh. The important among these are Yakshi of Bharahut, Satna of Shunga period, Dual-linga Lakulisha & Kartikeya of Gupta-Aulikara periods from Mandasaur, a Buddha image of Gandhara style belongs to Kushana period from Jabalpur and an image of Chandraprabha of Gupta period from Durjanpur, Vidisha,etc. Besides, the sculptures associated with the Rastrakuta, Pratihara, Parmara, Chandella, Kachchhapaghata and Kalchuri styles are the other unique and rare of their artistic approach also displayed in this gallery.
Fossils & Prehistoric Gallery
In the year, 1978 the District Archaeological Association, Mandala discovered a large hoard of fossils from Ghugwa and Silthar. Here, some remains of fossils of Mandla district and Elephant teeth found from Narmada River near Hoshangabad are displayed.
This Gallery displays with the lower palaeolithic, middle palaeolithic, upper palaeolithic, mesolithic and neolithic stone tools providing information of pre-historic period. The stone tools displayed here are handaxes, cleavers, scrappers, blades, burins, etc.
The cultural heritage of Madhya Pradesh played a vital role in the history of India. The continue of human civilization in Madhya Pradesh is observed right from the prehistoric period to the modern age. There are the sculptures found from various sites of Madhya Pradesh belonging to the Sunga, Gupta, Rastrakuta, Pratihara, Parmara, Chandella, Kalchuri and Kachchhapaghata period in this gallery.
The important sculptures are of Ganesha, Shiva, Uma-Maheshwara, Lakulisha, Vishnu, Lakshmi-Narayana, Saraswati, Gajasurasamhara, Trivikrama, Lajja-Gauri, Lakshmi, Mahisasurmardini, Jain Tirthankara, etc.
The sculptor emphasized physical beauty on Chandella, Kachchhapaghat and Kalchuri sculptures where as the Parmara sculptures are well proporionate and deliniated.
Royal Collection Gallery
This gallery is displayed with the artifacts either received as gifts or purchased by the Nawabs of Bhopal. Some objects in this gallery are used by the Nawabs. The history of Nawabs of Bhopal is about 250 years old. After Mughals the Bhopal-Nawabs patronized the culture of this region. The antiquities and culture of Bhopal is famous since time immemorial. Sultan Jahan Begam (1901-19260), the Nawab of Bhopal State was very much keen towards art & education. Due to her efforts, the King Edward Museum was established. She, herself and her Mother collected artifacts for this museum from all the corners of the world. In this collection, the arifacts are from Europe, China, Japan, Turky, Tibet and various places of India. Among the displayed objects in this gallery, are decorated surahi, hukka, surmadani, decorated objects made of China clay such as flower stand, hilly scene having flora –fauna, ivory objects such as deygun, stick, pen stand decorated with net design, paper cutter, lotus styled cup, gulab pash, decorated rounded box, silver coated hukkka, etc, silver objects like flower stand, chariot, dey-gun, decorated dish, peacock shaped perfume- bottle , jewellery box, silver shoes, gold coated silver tomb & cup. Besides, metal images of Padmapani, Avalokiteswara, carpet seller, mirror with golden work, flower pot, tea pot made of agate stone and onix plaza have been displayed in the showcases beautifully witnessing the artistic approach of Bhopal-Nawabs. In addition, dishes of metal & china clay, wooden and metal boxes, flower pots, marble pots, paintings, photographs and wash basins & lamps of Scindhia family have also been displayed in this gallery.
The costumes displayed in this gallery represent the Royal families as well as regional traditions. The costumes of Nawab Sahjahan begum like Sarara, Dupatta, shoes and long coat (sherwani), turbans of Holkar, Bundela, and Scindia families, and carpets of Holkar dynasty are demonstrated in this gallery. A fan with Ivory handle adorned with embroidery work, comb-case, and the Zujdan of holy Kuran reflect the rich and elegent cultural tradition of 250 years rule of Nawab of Bhopal. The figure decorated with embroidery design of Nawab Kudusia Begum , peacock having embroidery design, are the remarkable specimens. The weaving art of India is outstanding. There are some of the identifiable centres of this art such as Chanderi, Maheshwar and Bagh. This gallery has Sarees of Maheshwari & Chanderi which represent the old weaving traditions. The specimens of Bagh and Chanderi print are such a woonderfull creation of the people. Fan display on cloth, Chameli, Amri, and Gadwali , etc prints are traditional Bagh print. Their colours have been obtained from plant. Similarly, the designs of Chanderi and Maheswari sarees are traditional. The turbans of Bundelkhand, Malwa and Bhopal in this gallery indicate the regional traditions. The glass cutrain is one of the finest examples of Baghel art.
This gallery contains the archives of Gwalior State, Indore State, Bhopal State and Central India. Important Archives: Here, important treaties & agreements are displayed showcases. Among these, a 16 feet long treaty of Burhanpur, held on 1804 between Maharaja Scindhia, and British Govt., a treaty between Nawab Sahjahan Begum and British Govt held on 1890 regarding railway, a treaty of Raisen on 1918 between Bhopal Nawab and British Govt. and a treaty between Bhopal Nawab and Indian Govt. held on 1949, etc, are noteworthy. The documents of Gwalior, Indore and Bhopal States are also been shown here. The epithet known as “Diler-a-Jang” given by Farrukhsiyar to his friend Dost Muhammad Khan in Hizri 1093 (1715AD), Nawab Shajahan Begum was provided the epithet of “Star of India”(1872), the royal declaration of British King George Vth(1919), letters by Lord Akland, Lord Canning, and Lord Dalhousie to Maharaja Holkar, letter to Viceroy Lord Irwin by the Nawab Hamidullah, regarding death ceremony of Devi Ahilyabai Holkar(August, 1927, 1933), letter of Prithiviraj Kapoor regarding his plays(1949). The documents on Madhya Bharat have also been displayed in this gallery. Among them, The charge of Governer General of India taken over by by C. Rajgopalachari(1948),the charge of Head of the Central India by Maharaja Jiwaji rao Scindhia(1948), the first cabinet of Central Indian State(1948), the success police action in Hyderabad State(1948-49),letters of Jawahar Lal Nehru(1952) and Dr. Rajendra Prashad (1956), etc. are important.
Postal Stamp and Autograph Gallery
The first poastal stamp of the world was issued on 1st May, 1840 in Britain and it was of one Penny. The figure of Queen Victoria was printed on it. Size wise, the smallest postal stamp was printed in Colombo in 1863; while the largest one was printed in China in 1931. 300 postal stamps were issued in India before 1947 which are now increased to about 2900 numbers. A person having a hobby to collect postal stamp is called “philatelist.” There are three types of postal stamps, one for simple post, second for govt.use and third type is revenue stamp. Thus, the Postal Department has been rendering its services for 165 years. This gallery preserves the first postal stamp of the world issued in 140 from Britain. Besides, the stamps prior to 1947 belong to Great Briten, Gibraltar, Malta, China, Hong kong, Ceylon have been displayed in this gallery. In addition, the stamps of Indian homesteads like Jammu & Kashmir, Chamba, Nabha, Sirmor, Patiyala, Alwar, Jaipur, Jhalawar, Kishangarh , Kochin, Hyderabad, Barwani, Dhar, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Datia, Orcha have also been kept over here.
Autographs (Signature): In this gallery, the letters and autographs of some of the great personalities are displayed. These great personalities are comprised of spiritual persons, social reformers, politicians, historians, writers and artists. Among them, the personalities from Hindi literature include Shyam Sunder Das, Ramchandra Sukla, Mahavirprasad Dewevedi, Ayodhya Singh Upadhyaya, '‘Hariaudh”, Banarsidas Chaturvedi, Dr. Dhirendra Verma, Vrandavanlal Verma,etc.are important. From the field of politics,the first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prashad, Purusottamdas Tandon, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, Mahadev Desai & Pyarelal; the personal secretaries of Mahatma Gandhi are important. The scholars of history & archaeology Dr. Gaurisankar Ojha,Suniti Kumar Chaterji, Kashiprasad Jaiswal, V.S. Agrawal, Radhakumud Mukharji, Radhakamal Mukharji, Lochnaprasad Pandey, Dr. Bhagwatsaran Upadhyaya are noteworthy. In the field of religion & culture there are the famous personalities like Avanendranath Tagore, Ramanand Chaterji, Asit Kumar Haldar, Lalit Mohan Sen, Shripad Damodar Satvlaker, Hanuman Prasad Potdar, Acharya Shriram Sharma, Anagrik Dharmapal, Ramdas Gaur, Dr. Kamil Bulkey, etc have been displayed.