One of the major Madhya Pradesh museums is the Central Museum in Bhopal. It has recently become one of the frequently-visited tourist hubs in India. This museum, in the best possible manner, has been able to put on display the elegance and liveliness of local sculptures. This museum, along with local antiquities also possesses rare works of art from all parts of Madhya Pradesh. This museum was founded in the year 1949 and from that day it is tirelessly putting efforts to uplift the raw talents by offering them the perfect platform to stand and deliver their exclusive artworks. The valued articles which are attracting the masses are the ivory toys, metal works, wood carvings and statues of several deities, which portray the superior works of Indian artisans. There are also paintings narrating vivid stories, dazzling handloom works, needle-works and a number of other valuable handicrafts. A visit to the Central Museum of Bhopal is like a journey towards the glorious past where one will get to venture into the traditional and cultural inheritance possessed by India.
The Archaeological Survey of India founded the Archaeological Museum at Khajuraho in the year, 1967. This museum possesses an outstanding collection of famous sculptures of Khajuraho known all over the world. More specifically, the prominent sculptures of this museum represent the art of Jain, Brahmanical and Buddhist faiths. The main hall and the five large and wide galleries of this museum possess all the works of art, which are displayed in a very delicate manner. The work of art of Khajuraho belongs to the Chandela dynasty, which have overcome the bending sickles of time. During the British rule, WE Jardine, the political agent of Bundelkhand at that time, assembled the work of art from the temple complex and had put them on show in an enclosure close to the temples of western group, in the year 1910. This museum got its name as the Jardine Museum, which was beautifully modified by the Archaeological Survey of India and given the name of the Archaeological Museum, Khajuraho.
The architectural panels, sculpture and friezes present in the Archaeological Museum, Khajuraho are from the 10th and 12th century. The temple architecture portrays the Jain and Brahmanical influence. The figure of the seated Buddha is one of the prominent piece of work to seen in the museum. The museum possesses an assortment of 2000 or more outstanding Indian sculptures. Some of them include the amazing Hari-Haro, the idol of the Jain goddess Ambika, a massive image Nritta Gansha, the image of Uma-Maheshwara, the Narasimha, the four-headed Vishnu, Vaikuntha, Varaha and Hayagrim idols.
Rani Durgawati Museum
Among the significant museums in Madhya Pradesh, the Rani Durgawati Museum, Jabalpur is the one which is visited by people from all parts of India and also from different corners of the world. This museum was founded in the year 1964 and is a memorial erected to remember the Queen Durgawati, who is considered as a sign of self-sacrifice and martyrdom. The replica of Goddess 'Durga' in sandstone is believed to be the personification of feminine power. This museum brightly reflects the pride and spirit with which the Queen carried out her work. This museum also consists of a wing that holds some of the works of art and photos belonging to Mahatma Gandhi. It also preserves some of the very old cultural relics, several intriguing articles and ancient lettering.
The major things to see in this museum are a replica of red sandstone dated 10th century, Lord Shiva and Parvati occupied in a game of Chausar. Chausar is a sport which is connected to gambling. Lord Shiva and Parvati are seen sitting together in a sculpture and Lord Brahma, Lakshmi and Saraswati looking at them with extreme oddity.
Birla Museum in Bhopal was founded in the year 1971. This is an archaeological museum which preserves the artifacts and evidences starting from the prehistoric age. It puts on view some of the wide range of artefacts, which gives an insight into the social culture of primitive men and represents the rich historical and cultural heritage of Madhya Pradesh. Tools of the Neolithic and Paleolithic Age can be seen in the Birla Museum. Scale model of Bhimbetka rock shelter and the mystifying Stone Age wall paintings are marvelously depicted in the Birla Museum. Attractive stone sculpture ranging from 7th to 13th century is among the major attractions of this museum. The artifacts displayed in the museum are gathered from several archaeological sites of Madhya Pradesh. The terracotta objects preserved in this museum belong to a period ranging from 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD. Superior quality manuscripts and ancient coins are cautiously preserved in this museum to assist the tourists in getting a look into the useful objects of the past.
Shivpuri Museum is regarded as one of the prominent museums of Madhya Pradesh, since it preserves some of the precious articles which were handed over by the Jain Tirthankaras, belonging to the 10th and 11th century. It also exhibits several Jain sculptures. These spectacular artifacts have been acquired from Narwar and adjoining areas. This museum is one of the few to possess some of the primitive works of art relating to the Jain Tirthankaras.
Other Museums of Madhya Pradesh
Apart from these, there are several other museums in Madhya Pradesh like the AEC Museum, Panchmarhi; Archaeological Museum, National Council Of Science Museums, H.H. Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum and Municipal Museum, Gwalior; District Archaeological Museum, Vidisha; Hari Singh Gaur Archaeological Museum, Sagar; Jammu & Kashmir Rifles and Aoc Corps Museum, Jabalpur; National Museum of Man (Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya), Regional Science Centre, National Telecom Museum and Madhva Rao Sapre Smiriti Samachar Patra Sangrahalaya And Research Institute, Bhopal; Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum, Raipur; etc.
Museums are the mirror to the past and museums of Madhya Pradesh clearly portray the rich culture and tradition of this centrally located state of India. The museums in this state are the most common ways to peep into the culture, history and archaeological treasures.