Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
Northampton, United Kingdom
December 2, 2012
From journal Delhi Attractions
New Delhi, India
December 30, 2006
1. Harappan Civilisation: Harappa and some smaller sites form part of the Indus Valley civilisation (one of the four major Bronze Age civilisations in Asia). The gallery has about 3,800 objects, including painted jars; tiny (and I mean miniscule) figurines of people and animals; jewellery; and beautifully crafted bronze figurines. Some of the exhibits are so stunning, it’s hard to believe they’re nearly 4,000 years old.
2. Archaeology: A vague name, but this gallery actually contains about 800 stone and metal sculptures from across time and space. Look out for the immensely ornate idols of the Cholas (a South Indian dynasty between the 9th and 13th centuries). Also worth a peek are the Satvahana sculptures, and the displays of Gandhara art - a form that drew inspiration from Greece.
3. Indian Miniature Paintings: The museum has one of the world’s largest collections of miniature paintings. There have been dozens of schools of miniature art in India (Rajasthani, Mughal, Deccani, Bengali and Pahari are among them), and they’re amply represented, with about 350 works displayed. The paintings depict a variety of themes - love stories, religion, and hunting. Among the best are portraits of Mughal emperors and princes, painted by court artists. My favourite work, however, is a 24 x 21cm painting depicting the court of the Mughal emperor Shah Alam. The painting dates back to 1800-10. About 50 people or so are shown, and the painting’s so fine, you can actually see details of clothing, and of the embroidery on the throne canopy. It’s stupendous.
4. Decorative Arts and Jewellery: Adjacent to each other, these are the museum’s most sumptuous galleries. The Decorative Arts gallery houses just about anything made of semi-precious stone, ivory, enamel, and the like: pen cases, jewellery boxes, a miniature temple, huqqa bases, and what not. The Jewellery Gallery begins with fairly simple Harappan necklaces, and goes on to huge necklaces, crowns, bracelets and more, dripping with precious stones.
If you have a few minutes, visit the Arms and Armour Gallery on the second floor - it has interesting weaponry, including some fearsome maces and clubs. It also contains personal armour and weaponry belonging to a few of India’s most distinguished warrior kings.
Entry to the museum is Rs 300. An audiotape with headphones can be hired near the ticket counter. A tip: try not to visit on weekdays, when hordes of noisy schoolchildren descend on the museum.
From journal The Museums of Delhi
new delhi, India
January 8, 2002
From journal finding your feet in new delhi