Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rajasthan Museums & Art Galleries

The Mehrangarh Museum Jodhpur
Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort Museum is one of the finest museums in Rajasthan. It is beautifully laid out. It has a palanquin section where you can see a wide collection of old royal palanquins.
The Mehrangarh Museum Trust was settled in March, 1972 by His Highness The Maharaja Gaj Singh II with the principal objective of setting up a world class museum in Jodhpur. It was intended that this museum eventually house and display the Maharaja's substantial collections; of miniature paintings, portraits, books and manuscripts, weapons, textiles and tents, elephant howdahs and palanquins, and various objets' d art. The Trust was duly registered with the Government of Rajasthan in 1974 and commenced functioning in earnest in the same year with the Maharaja as its Managing Trustee. At the same time the Maharaja placed his ancestral fortress, the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, at the disposal of the new Trust directing it to develop and establish the planned museum within the fort premises itself. This was a significant and far-sighted direction since the fort eminently serves the purpose, not only in terms of historicity and authenticity, but also keeping in mind the security and care of the collections. Needless to say the conservation, and restoration where necessary, of the magnificent architecture of the fort itself was also a prime consideration behind this decision.
Early on the Trust was fortunate enough to obtain the services of Thakur Sagat Singh, a retired curator from the Rajasthan Governement Museum, and he was given a clear brief; to locate and clear suitable areas in the fort for the museum; to compile inventories of the collections both at the Mehrangarh Fort and at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, the Maharaja's residence; and, finally, to put together the exhibitions themselves.
The success of the Maharaja's vision and the Trust's early efforts is evinced by the recognition The Mehrangarh Museum enjoys today; 65,000 foreign visitors and 3,00,000 Indian visitors in 1999-2000.
New dimensions have been added to the Trust's activities since then; the active patronage of the arts and music; the promotion of the handicrafts of the region; and the study and research of the rich archival and other material available in the Trust’s manuscript library, the Maharaja Maan Singh Pustak Prakash Research Center. With the Trust's strong and ever-widening social and cultural inter-action with the city and region the Mehrangarh Fort today finds itself once again, after over a hundred years, very much at the center of things in Marwar.
The Museum has participated in many international exhibitions all over the world, including the Festival of India in America in 1985, displaying and sharing the rich heritage of Marwar, and interacting with prestigious institutions in the field. It has also attracted numerous scholars and researchers, in many different fields, to Jodhpur

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