Museums add to Hyderabad’s appeal

At the State Museum a new idol gallery will come up to add to the tourist attractions

May 19, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 07:27 am IST - HYDERABAD:

Nehru Centenary Tribal Museum in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Photo: G. Ramakrishna

Nehru Centenary Tribal Museum in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Photo: G. Ramakrishna

If someone were to list tourist places to see in the city, the Salar Jung museum will be the first. But, that is just one among the handful of museums Hyderabad has, as there are four more which mostly go unnoticed.

On the occasion of International Museum Day, The Hindu takes a look at these museums, the state they are in, and what they have to offer in terms of historical artefacts.

Salar Jung Museum

Instead of the usual long queue to buy a ticket, the museum lets in visitors for free on the occasion of International Museum Day. Right from the well-manned entrance to its huge collection of artefacts, it is one of the three national museums of India.

Located in the Old City, right on Musi’s banks, it is also unique housing one of the largest collection of artefacts by a single person, in this case, Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, the Salar Jung-III of the erstwhile state of Hyderabad.

Well-equipped with security personnel, CCTV cameras and enough fire-fighting equipment, the museum is undoubtedly well maintained. It showcases 15,000 of its collection, out of a total of 46,000, which is 35 per cent. Most museums in the world only show three to four per cent of their collections, said A. Nagendar Reddy, its director.

State Museum

Located on the premises of the Public Gardens, you can easily miss the State Museum. The Nizam-era construction of the building only adds to its charm, perhaps being an apt home for the artefacts there. From the 18{+t}{+h}Century cannon that welcomes visitors outside to the 17{+t}{+h}century chariot of the Vijayanagar empire, it is definitely one place that could perhaps use a little more publicity.

Mostly well-maintained, the State Museum also houses an Egyptian mummy, which is more than 2000 years old. The decorative art gallery, the chariot, Islamic art gallery, Buddhist relic gallery and the display of cannons in the rear are a must see for anyone who is interested in Hyderabad and the State’s history. The only thing on which it loses points is the idols lying in the rear, which are yet to find a place inside.

A senior official from the Department of Archaeology and Museums said that a new idol gallery will come up, and that otherwise there are no issues in maintenance of the place.

Purani Haveli Palace

The museum in itself is distinct. Displaying a collection gifted to a person on an occasion adds to the uniqueness of the one on the premises of the Purani Haveli Palace. The Nizam’s Museum exhibits the collection of mementos, models and formal declarations presented to Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh and last Nizam of the princely state of Hyderabad.

Models of different buildings, presents from various kings, daggers, swords, silver models etc. are there. And the one thing to ‘wow’ someone for sure is Mahbub Ali Khan’s wardrobe, which will take a short walk for anyone to see through it.

The museum is just five minutes from Charminar and the Salar Jung Museum. However, it does not have even a fraction of the crowd that the SJM attracts.

Heritage Museum

Located on the State Department of Archaeology and Museum’s premises at Gunfoundry, the Centenary Heritage museum houses several interesting artefacts in its metal and wooden galleries. While it has everything that would keep a history buff busy, visitors aren’t aplenty there. With a minimal ticket for entry, those interested in history will definitely find this place interesting.

Similarly, the Nehru Centenary Tribal Museum was empty when this reporter had visited it on Wednesday. While the premises was well-maintained it needs a bit of publicity as it was deserted. From the life of Chenchus and Lambadas living in the State to the kind of lives tribals lead, the museum does a good job in showcasing its artifacts.

Needs publicity

Security officials said that most of the visitors are college-going youngsters who turn up there out of sheer boredom. With a ticket of just Rs.10 for adults, Rs.5 for kids and just Rs.2 for school-going children, all it needs is a crowd. Finding it might be a tad difficult as it is situated at Masab Tank, right after the Tribal Welfare Department.

(With inputs from M. Nikita and Victor Paul)

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