Museums of Jammu and Kashmir
There are several museums in Jammu and Kashmir namely, Shri Pratap Singh (SPS) Museum, Dorga Art Museum, Amar Mahal Palace Museum, Hall of Fame Museum, Stok Palace Museum, Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum and the Wadia Museum of Natural History.
Shri Pratap Singh Museum
Shri Pratap Singh Museum (SPS) earlier served as the summer palace of the Maharajas, who were once the masters of Kashmir. This museum can be defined as a historical museum located in Srinagar, more specifically, in the Lal Mandi area on the left bank of the Jhelum River. It was erected in the year 1889. Maharaja Pratap Singh is credited with the establishment of this museum. This museum is well known for the grand collection of handicrafts and archaeological artifacts from across the state. The exterior of the museum represents royal panache, while the interior exhibits innumerable antique objects collected from places like Baltistan, Gilgit and different corners of Kashmir.
Based on the similarity among the items, the relics of the museum have been clustered in different collections or classified into different categories. These categories or sections are the archaeology section, manuscript section, metal ware section and the textile section. Some of the authentic ancient items preserved in this museum are sculptures, books, royal edicts, deeds, utensils made with exclusive designs and the Kashmiri Shawls.
Dorga Art Museum
The Dogra Art Museum is located in the Mubarak Mandi Complex, Old Secretariat in Jammu, known as the Pink Hall. This museum commenced as an art gallery and was inaugurated by the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. It has been preserving the dogra cultural heritage and the art and architecture prevalent during that period. Some of the authentic ancient items preserved in separate galleries of the museum are paintings from Basholi, Kangra and Jammu and various hands written manuscripts of Shahnama and Sikandernama in Persian. Other items are sculptures, numismatics, dogra costumes, jewellery, arms and armory, metal objects and decorative art. One of the noteworthy aspects of the museum is the gold plated bow and arrow of Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan along with his carpentry tools.
Amar Mahal Palace Museum
The Amar Mahal Palace Museum is located within the Amar Mahal Palace, atop a hill overlooking the Tawi River in Jammu. The Amar Mahal Palace was built during the reign of Maharaja Amar Singh of Dogra dynasty in 19th century and was converted into a museum in the year 1975. This museum is a fine representation of the French-chateau style of architecture. The most noteworthy aspect of this museum is the golden throne of Jammu, weighing about 120 kg. The art collection of the museum comprises of the paintings of M F Hussain and Laxman Pai. The pahari paintings illustrate tales from the Mahabharata and other folklores, especially those of Nal Damyanti. The museum is also known to arrange heritage walks around the complex to intimate the visitors with the detailed history of Jammu and the surrounding cities.
Hall of Fame Museum
The Hall of Fame Museum is a small museum located in Ladakh, on the Spituk-Kargil road. The Indian Army is credited with the establishment and maintenance of this museum. This museum was erected to commemorate the souls of all the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the historic Siachin battle fields during the Indo-Pak war. This museum is a home to items related to Ladakhi cultural heritage. The noteworthy aspects of this museum are the exhibits on memorabilia, seized arms and amenities of the Pakistani Army, biographies and photographs of the brave soldiers, etc.
Stok Palace Museum
The Stok Palace Museum is situated inside the Stok palace and is owned by the royal family of Leh. The museum is a home to the artifacts and belongings of the royal family. They are copper coins, royal crowns, jewelleries, equipments and instruments for prayers, valued heirlooms and expensive stones along with ancient thangkas of 16th century depicting the wisdom and life of Buddha.
Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum
The Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum of Central Asian and Kargil Trade Artifacts is located in the town of Kargil. This museum is defined as a Peoples Museum, which was established in the year 2004. The director of the museum is Gulzar Hussain and the curator is Ajaz Hussain. This museum is dedicated to Munshi Azizi Bhat and will intimate the visitors with his life and times as a silk route pioneer trader, sarai founder, collector, patriot, husband and a father. This museum is considered to be a treasure house of silk route memorabilia focusing on the Indian and Central Asian trade culture of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The various galleries of the museum are Armory, Caps and Dresses, Carpets, Coins and Currencies, Daily Consumer Goods, Horse accessories, Jewelery, Lamps and Pipes, Manuscripts and Books, Paintings, Silk and Utensils and Crockery. The museum will convey the visitors the diversity, energy, acumen, creativity, ingenuity and vitality of the adventuresome merchants, horsemen, herders, pilgrims, artisans, nomads and farmers who became the princes and paupers of the commerce and trader culture of Central Asia, West Asia and East Asia.
Wadia Museum of Natural History
The Wadia Museum of Natural History is being established in Jammu and Kashmir after the name of D N Wadia. D N Wadia is recognized as a respected Professor of Indian Geology. This museum will be a home to some rocks, minerals and fossils besides the articles that were surfaced or brought to light by the geologist in the state , over the years. This museum aims to inspire countless generations of students of geology. This museum is considered to be the first of its kind as Natural History Museum and is being established by the Jammu University.
Indian State Museums
Indian Art Museums and Galleries
Indian Archaeological Museums
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Museums of Jammu and Kashmir