In order to come in close proximity with the rich tradition and the wealthy culture of Punjab, visit to the museums in the state becomes really important. Apart from a treasure of sculptures residing in the museums, it also houses several painting. Particularly the Sikh, Mughal and the Rajasthani style of miniature are also preserved here. The state and its museum also house an array of medals and armors belonging to the princely days of the state. Other noteworthy collections are those of Archaeology, Anthropology and other artifact of the tribal and folk life of the state.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
Amritsar is the house for one of the most important museum in the state which is called the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum. Acting as a former palace for the Maharaja in the summers, this extensive complex has been transformed into an exquisite museum which is bordered by a magnificent museum called the Ram Bagh. One of the major figures in the historical context of the Punjabi history, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and items from his era including arms, coins manuscripts etc are preserved with care in this museum. The museum also has a considerable collection of painting which gracefully exhibit the war scenes and the scenes of the court of the royal Maharaja. One of the finest pieces of art in the museum displays the various architectural beauty of Lahore. The coins that are stacked in the museum behold the unmatchable secularism that the Maharaja was famous for. There are also a number of manuscripts in the museum that show the Sikh culture of the province. The extent of the museum’s wealth goes to a Farman issued to the royal ruler of Kapurthala by the then Maharaja. Considering the celebrated bravery of the Sikh community in the region, the museum also presents an honor to this valor by exhibiting classiest weapons. Much talked about in the state, the Maharaja and his glorious past lies embedded in the museum. The museum presents an honest effort in keeping the Maharaja’s rapport alive.
Museum of Rural Life of Punjab
The museum of Rural Life is another benchmark museum in the state of Punjab. It is located in the vicinity of the Agricultural University of Punjab. The museum in a detailed and delicate style captures the essence of the Punjabi Culture. One major attraction of the museum is its apt depiction of the rapidly changing face of Punjab’s pastoral spaces. Technology is creeping in and is making advances over the previous ways. Neither is the woman going distances for water, nor a spinning yarn and neither a burning coal furnace. Tractors have replaced the traditional way of sowing in the architectural land. All of these and several other dimensions of the culture of Punjab are preserved in this beautiful museum.
Dr. M.S Randhawa, the then acting Vice Chancellor of the university dreamed and created this huge museum. The project owes its existence to the thought of Dr. Randhawa. A fitting plan was designed by Dr. Randhawa which included searching for village for the perfect items to be restored and preserved in this place. With a meager charge of Rs.2 per person, the Museum opens it arms to the public and students from 9 A.M. to 1.00 P.M. and later from 2 to 5 P.M.
Situated at a meager distance of 40 kms from the Capital city, on the Roopnagar Highway stands the Archeological Museum in Ropar which is also one of Punjab’s finest. Completed as late as 1998, the museum threw itself open for the public in the same year. The museum preserves a wealth of unearthed items from and around the town of Ropar which is believed to the first Harappan site which India after independence unearthed. Archeological advances display the evolution from the Harappan to the medieval ages. Some of the major attractions in the museum include things from the times of Harappa, Saka’s Grey wares, Vina Vadini, Gupta, Bronze and copper equipment, steatite seal, yakshi image ring stone and also Chandragupta’s gold coins. More than this, the museum also offers views of several heritage sites in and around the state of Punjab. With a weekly off on Friday, the Museum can be accessed from 10in the morning till 5 in the evening. Children are never charged whereas the adults are charged at Rs.2 per person.
The glory and might of Punjab can still be felt in the museums of the state. The wealth of certain museums also include the heritage and priceless items from the civilization of the Indus Valley along with several fol, tribal and even anthropological rudiments etc. The museums are not only treasure houses for researchers and academicians but also attract a lot of general tourists. These museums in Punjab present a summarized and punctuated cultural history of Punjab.
Sports Museum, National Institute of Sports, Patiala
Surviving as a part of the elite and rare club, this museum houses a rich collection of vintage medals, photographs and other items of laurels related to Indian Sportsmen. The museum stands majestically in the Sylvan environs of Moti Bagh Palace. The museum is an extension Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports which was started in the year 1961 and serves as the largest of its kind in Asia.
Guru Teg Bahadur Museum, Anandpur Sahib
As a result of the government’s initiative in the year 1977, The Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Museum was formed at the blessed place of Sri Anandpur Sahib. The opening of the museum was possible only in 1983. The museum pays obeisance and salutes the spirit of Sri Teg Bahadur who offered his life for the sake of humanity and justice. The museum houses a vivid explanation and display of the rich culture of the Sikh history which is shown by famous painters like: Jaswant Singh, Devinder Singh and Kirpal Singh
Sanghol Museum, Fatehgarh Sahib
At a distance of 40 kms from the state capital on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road stands the majestic Sanghol Museum at Fatehgarh which is a treasure island of archeological relics that had been stored in the region of Punjab. The relics in the museum date back to the 1st or the 2nd century BC with the presence of a grand stupa which is attached to a Buddhist monastery.
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