Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hyderabad Chronicles I - To Hyderabad and Salar Jung Museum

Hyderabad Chronicles I - To Hyderabad and Salar Jung Museum Hyderabad Chronicles II - Walking through Salar Jung Museum
Hyderabad Chronicles III - Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Chowmahalla Palace, Hussain Sagar and Birla Mandir
Hyderabad Chronicles IV - Golconda Fort, Kutb Shahi tombs, Spanish Mosque and Secundrabad

Salar Jung Museum
It was a Friday evening, after travelling through the packed roads of Bangalore city, I finally reached Shanti Nagar bus Stand. Rajahamsa was on time, and I left Bangalore at 8.45pm and reached on the out skirts of Hyderabad city by next morning. 

Along with the cool air from the vast stretch of empty land on both sides of the road, I can easily sense the smell of ploughed soil. After some time I saw a person riding his tractor. Is there a smile in his lips?

I slowly entered in to the city; one of the first main buildings was Police Academy. The motto “Be the change you want to see in the world” is written in big letters. I wonder if they could keep the motto at all times...

Nehru Zoological Park came next; after some time we crossed Musi River and reached MGBS. Now Musi is less of a river and more of a drainage channel, best example for how humans can destroy nature!!! Before auto drivers can offer me a trip I walked towards main road to catch a city bus.

My first destination was Hyderabad High Court. I got down one stop before the court and slowly walked towards it. With red coloured domes, High court stands proudly under the morning sun. After watching the building for some time, I walked towards Salar Jung Museum. It took some time to reach there. Museum will open at 10 am in morning and now it is 9.30am. So I sat in front of the museum to read her history.

Salar Jung Museum

This museum contains the personal collection of Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III (1889–1949), former Prime Minister of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad. It took around thirty five years for Salar Jung to create this priceless collection. According to museum sources it displays a little more than 25% of the original collection.

There are 38 galleries in the museum spread over two floors under three sections (Indian, Western and Eastern). Now it's ten, I slowly moved in. After buying the ticket (10 INR) I slowly walked in. As cameras are not allowed inside the museum I went to the clock room and locked the camera in the locker. After a security check at the main entrance I went to the Founder's gallery.

Founder’s gallery contains the portraits and other personal belongings of Salar Jung family. There is one photo in this room which attracted my particular attention. It was Sarojini Naidu and others attending one function with Salar Jung. I moved to the next gallery.

There was a big size Nataraja performing Tandava Dance. Here you can see the scenes from Rasaleela, Bhagvad Gita, Gopis plucking flowers, legends of Hindu Gods, episodes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Vishnupurana etc printed or drawn in the cloths. After spending some time here I slowly moved to the next one.

After some time I reached Indian miniature paintings gallery. This room contains some of the good paintings from Rajasthani (Malwa, Mevar, Kotah, Amber, Jaipur etc), Mughal, Deccani (Golkonda, Bijapur etc), Pahari (Kulu, Gharwal, Kangra etc) styles. I looked towards the paintings for some time. Indeed we habe to spend quite some time to see, understand and enjoy some of the best Indian miniature paintings.

After that I moved towards Modern painting gallery. Went straight to the middle of the gallery, there stands M.N Roy's 'After Bath'. This picture describes the back of a beautiful woman just after taking the bath - wearing a wet white cloth with red borders. M.N Roy beautifully sketched the beauty of the woman in the painting. She raised both hands one at the level of the neck and other one folded close to her ear. Both hands are touching her beautiful black her at the back side of the head. Even the folding in the wet cloth is clearly visible to the viewer.

Chugthai's 'Lady and the deer', Paintings of Nandalal Bose, Abnindranath Tagore etc forms a beautiful view to the visitor. Finally, I walked towards the works of Raja Ravi Varma.

First one I saw was a painting named 'Kerala Beauty' - a middle aged woman, wearing a white cloth and jewellaries. Next one was the painting of a couple - probably lovers - named as 'Stolen Interview'. In this painting, a woman wearing green sari is standing on one side of the pillar. She is holding a flower in one hand. Looking towards the flower she slowly moves her other hand over it. She is looking beautiful in her necklace and red coloured bangles. A young man is standing on the other side of the wall, looking to her face. He is holding the pillar using one hand and supporting his head with the other one. It’s indeed a Stolen Interview'.

I walked towards the door and went to other galleries. One contains the collection of Indian textiles - a selected collection of saris etc another one contains Toys and dolls.

You can see Egyptian and Syrian furniture’s on another one. These items are basically replicas of original ones. Another room contains various models of carpets. Arabian and Persian manuscripts are displayed on another room. Quartrain of Omar Khayyam written by Sultan Hussain of Persia and autographed by princess Jehanara Begum - daughter of Shah Jehan, an illuminated Holy Quran, Shah-nama by Firadausi written by Mohd-b-Abdul Rahman Sammarqandi ( 1424 A.D. ) etc are visible here.

Another gallery contains Ivory objects. I slowly moved in front of various Ivory objects appreciating artisan's skills. In Arms sections we can see various guns - Match lock, flint lock, pistols, revolvers etc. In one place there were armours of various soldiers, their swords, various plates used to cover body parts etc.


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