Salar Jung Museum – Not a Museum to miss
Any art aficionado worth his salt would have the famous Salar Jung Museum of Hyderabad on his ‘to see’ list.
Salar Jung Museum, one of India’s 3 national museums boasts of a magnificent collection of treasures collected over centuries and around the globe. From Eastern artifacts like the sword of Aurangzeb, daggers of Mughal emperors, paintings by Raja Ravi Verma to a Western collection of paintings, sculptures etc., the art museum is a history lover’s delight.
The museum was started on December 16th, 1951, in the residence palace of Salar Jung III, ‘Diwan Deodi’. The Salar Jungs were ministers to the Nizams of Hyderabad. Salar Jung III, or Mir Yousuf Ali Khan as he was known at first was a connoisseur of art and patronized art in all its forms, throughout his life. When he passed away in 1949, he left behind a huge collection, of which, it is rumored, some were stolen during the shifting from Diwan Deodi to the present site. Since he did not have any direct descendants, the Government of India took over the collection and the museum came into existence.
The vast collection contains objects back from the 2nd century BC to objects from the 20th century AD.
Treasures from India, Middle East, Far East, and Europe grace the walls and corridors of the museum. India makes its way into the collection through stone sculptures, Bandhini and Patola textiles, bronze statues, miniature paintings, modern paintings, jade objects from the Mughal era, arms and armour including weaponry possessed by Jehangir, Noorjehan, Aurangzeb’s sword, Tipu Sultan’s chair and turban, etc. There is also a famous Quran collection from around the world.
Intricately woven Persian carpets, furniture and ivory objects (A replica of Tutenkhamen’s throne deserves a special mention here), objects of Porcelain, Lacquer, Bronze, Wood from Japan, Chinese porcelain, dainty tea-sets, European glass, bronze and marble, French furniture from the era of Louis XIV-XVI and Napolean leave you spell-bounded.
The Clock section and the ‘Veiled Rebecca’ of Salar Jung museum remain the most popular of the things to see. Different kinds of clocks like the Bird cage, Grandfather’s clock, make up this collection. But what leaves the visitors most enchanted is a British Bracket clock in which a toy figure comes out hourly to strike the gong and then returns. The ‘Veiled Rebecca’ is a marble sculpture by Benzoni which dazzles one by its unearthly beauty and the real-ness of the gossamer veil made with marble.
Besides the 38 galleries of the museum, which includes the ‘Founders Gallery’, that contains objects from the lives of the Salar Jungs, there is also a library, a reading room, a souvenir shop, and cafeteria. Salar Jung Museum also got the permission to utilize solar power through solar panels to cover its power costs. There are also plans of changing the museum’s exteriors to exhibit an Indo-Persian look altogether.
History breathes through the walls here. While some may find the museum uninteresting and uncomfortable, most leave with the experience of having been transported to a different era, a different world altogether and time seems a frustrating bound. Either ways, this is not a museum to miss.
Salar Jung Museum is one of the top tourism destinations in Hyderabad, Telangana.
– 10 Kms from Secunderabad railway Station (30-35 min drive)
– 1.5 Kms from MGBS Bus Stop, Hyderabad ( 5-10 min drive)
– Buses from Secunderabad – 1, 1-25I, 1-229, 1B, 1E, 1J, 1P, etc (every 5 minutes)
– Buses from MGBS Bus Stop, Hyderabad – 71, 71R, 72L, 72LR, etc. (every 9 minutes)
Location: Salar Jung Museum is located on the Southern bank of Musi River in Nayapul, old city of Hyderabad (near to Charminar)
Food Facilities: Lots of hotels with various cuisines. One should definitely try Hyderabadi specials.
Timings: 10.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M on all days except Fridays and public holidays.
– Rs.10 for Adults and Rs.5 for children below 12 years.
– Rs. 150 for foreign visitors
Neary by Tourist Attractions:
– Akkanna Madanna Temple
– Mecca Masjid
Salar Jung Museum, Nayapul, Hyderabad – 500002
Contact Numbers: +91-040-24576443, 040 24523211 Ext: 301