Archaeology enthusiasts in the city have a place to slake their thirst for knowledge about ancient articles that range from pre-historic tools, pottery, stone and copper plates, gold and silver coins, arms and armoury, manuscripts, stone-cut writings, inscriptions and objects obtained from excavations at historic sites.
The more than century-old Victoria Jubilee Museum on Bandar Road was re-opened on Sunday for the public. V. Jayaprada, Assistant Director of the State Archaeological Department for Krishna and Guntur districts, formally opened the ancient structure, which has been given a facelift by carrying out repairs.
The museum is worth seeing for archaeology buffs, as it has a painstakingly conserved collection of ancient sculptures, idols, inscriptions, paintings, cutlery and weapons. It also has pre-historic metal works and Neolithic implements. Established in 1887, the roof of the ancient structure was completely damaged owing to incessant seepage. Huge flakes of water-soaked slab had begun to cave in from the ceiling of the two-stories building. The authorities concerned had made an attempt to save the structure by carrying out some patchwork some eight years ago but it soon began to wear off. A beautifully sculpted idol of Lord Siva, believed to be of 4th or 5th century, is a major attraction in the museum.
“Every object in the museum has a story to tell. Apart from the stone inscriptions, the coin collection and porcelain cutlery, we have weapons believed to have been used during Quli Qutub Shah rule. The structure served as a technical institution for the Krishna Zilla Parishad authorities before it was taken over by the Archeological Department in 1969 and transformed into a full-fledged museum,” says V. Marianna, in-charge of the museum.
He says public response on the first day of the re-opening was quite satisfactory. “The on-going Karthik Masam will bring more visitors to the place which is on the main road. Families going for vanabhojanams can drop in, see the wonderful collection of art and artifacts on their way to their picnic destination,” he says.