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Shri Pratap Singh Museum

Located in Lal Mandi, on the left embankment of the River Jhelum, Shri Pratap Singh Museum is of great historical importance. In ancient times, this Museum was the place of the kings of Kashmir during summer. This Museum was established in 1898. It houses a number of the rare terracotta heads which belongs to the 3rd century and these were collected from the Buddhist site which is in Ushkur. It also includes different terracotta plaques which are molded and belongs to 4th and 5th century. These are from Harwan.

This place is well known for its archaic model of Lokeshvara, made of brass and a structure of Lord Vishnu, which is a green stone, sitting on Garuda. An image of Buddha made of copper and belonging to 5th century has been carved in the architectural style of Gandhara. Some of the significant items which are on display inside the museum are Ladakhi handicrafts, paintings, shawls, ancient coins and arms. Accessible easily by buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws, it is a nice Museum which will draw the attention of history enthusiastic and art lovers. 

Museum of Art and History

In terms of history, Kashmir, which has been known as the most ancient settlements in Asia, has a long history of more than 5000 years which are present as records and documents. To the end of 19th century, the artifacts, historical places and settlements were recognized as the vicarious of cultural resources of this society. In recognition of this, later on in the 19th century a memorandum was propounded to the rulers of Dogra of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Pratap Singh for establishment of a Museum in Srinagar that would show the archaeological and cultural compilations from the various regions of Jammu, Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan.

The Museum was established by the Maharaja and also named after him as Shri Pratap Singh Museum who was the ruler at that time. It was perched outside the old city of Srinagar which is presently the heart of the city and is known as Lal Mandi. This Museum comprises of Manuscripts, Miniature paintings, Numismatics, Utensils, Furniture and decorative items, Weapons and armory, Textiles and carpets, Items of grass, leather and willow work, Musical Instruments, Sculptures and other excavated objects, Natural history collections.


Archeological Section

The sources of the collections in the Museum are from four important archeological sites from the regions of Kashmir and Ladakh. It houses Pandrenthan Sculptures. Many sculptures have been dug out at Pandrenthan which gives the idea of the quality of work of the Kashmiri artists.

The Museum also includes Avantipura Sculptures. Many temples were built in the town of Avantipura. The collection also consists of painted and baked clay pieces which have different figures of Buddha, Manjusri and other deities on it. These are from Ladakh.

On Display

On display, the Archeological Section has terracotta tiles which are about 2000 years old. It also includes heads which are from Ushkar presently known as Baramulla Town and they belong to 4th century. These heads gives the idea of Gandharan and Greek styles. There are two big stones of Buddha which are from Parihaspura. They belong to the 17th century. Two sculptures of Laxmi and Vishnu are found from Avantipura which belongs to the 19th century. The Sculpture of Vishnu having three heads is noticeable because it is believed to be a rare feature of Vishnu. The Laxmi looks like any Greek Goddess. Many Sculptures which were unearthed from the major sites of Avantipura, Parihaspura and Pandrenthan etc are also on display.

Decorative Art

The chief collection of Decorative Crafts and Arts has nearly 837 objects in it. These are divided into 21 sub-sections based on the use of materials in these objects. These collections are from different regions of Ladakh, Kashmir, Gilgit and Jammu. There are some glassware and ceramic pieces, imported from China and Portugal and these belong to the early 20th century.

How to Reach

By Road

Srinagar is well connected to all the major cities and towns by the bus service of Jammu and Kashmir. Private cabs and taxis can also be hired to reach Srinagar.

By Air

Srinagar airport is well connected with the airports of all the major cities in India. Regular flights operate between Srinagar and other cities across India and the prices of the tickets are also not very high.

By Rail

Jammu is the closest railway station to Srinagar 290 km away. The railway station of Jammu is well linked to all main cities in India by rail. Buses and Taxis are also available outside the railway station to reach Srinagar.

Visitor Information

Shri Pratap Singh Museum is open from 10 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’clock in the evening. It is open on all days except Wednesdays. It will take only 2 to 3 hours to explore the entire Museum.

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