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Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum And Panorama

Acting as the graceful summer palace of the regal Maharaja Ranjit Singh, This magnificent monument was transformed into a museum in the year 1977. The wealth of relics in the museum includes the dresses of the Khalsa Warriors, paintings, coins, miniatures and several other weapons. Right next to this museum stands the beautiful Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama, which is an eternal visual record which encapsulates the life of the Maharaja. All this is packed in a huge circular and two storied building which highlight the superb painting that gloriously convey the stories of his battles. All this is punctuated with several figures that render the place a new dimension; all this is supported by a multimedia exhibition depicting the scene of war.

Some other things that are worth noticing here are several huge and paintings of real life size. Along with that there are dioramas which feature the life and times of the great Maharaja himself. One thing that is highlighted is a court scene of the erstwhile metropolis of Lahore. The latter is a likeness of a painting by the Astro-Hungarian artist, August Schoefft; also called ‘Court of Lahore’, it was completed it in 1852 and exhibited in Vienna for the first time in 1855.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama

Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign was also known for all round development, secular values and patriotic fervor. Keeping all these aspects in mind, the Amritsar has come up with many such things that remind one of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's rules. The National Council of Science Museums worked in close proximity with the Punjab government to establish the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama.  Spreading across a whopping land area of 4.5 acres in the heart of the momentous Rambagh heritage Garden, the vista with its cylindrical yet tall structural design inspires awe from each visitor.

Divided into three basic segments, the museum exhibits a glory of Sikh history dating back to almost 200 years.

Having said that, the major eyeball catcher remains to be the realistic and panoramic view that exhibits scenes of the most important wars. The assume a realistic view which is largely due to the 12 meters tall and almost a  100 meters stretched panoramic work of art that depicts a total of six key combats of the royal Maharaja.

The visitors are greeted and welcomed by the magnificent Darbar-e-Khalsa of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The durbar replicates a rare and exquisite painting that graces the court of Lahore.

The museum also vividly describes the scenes of the wars which are shown with a multi dimensional effect.

The scenes depict his historic victory at the city of Lahore, The moment when Kangra was captured, the strife for Attack, Multan and the victory there and many more.

The panorama also has managed to recreate the grandeur of the Darbar that the Maharaja had in the heart if Lahore. This is done in the most graceful manner as the multi dimensional view shows the Maharaja with his close associates and his subject in the festive mood during Dussehra.

The museum also encapsulates the several element of the Maharaja’s eventful life. Eight smaller dioramas exhibit it in the lower section of the gallery. Apart from his childhood and his youth, the museum also shows Zamzama’s capture, The Koh-I-Noor and its acquiring.

To further impart knowledge about the era, the state government has installed several touch screen kiosks that share information of the same.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh took birth in the year 1780 as a Sikh boy in Gujranwala which lies in the present Pakistan.
This was a time when the majority of the land in Punjab was captured by different Sikhs which were segregated into factions which they called the ‘Misls’. Mahan Singh (Ranjit Singh’s Father) commanded the Misl of Sukerchakia which gave him the control of the province in west Punjab which had its headquarters at the town of Gujranwala.

Ranjit Singh became the father’s successor at a tender age of 12. After considerable strife and wars, his rivals accepted him as their leader. He later worked on and erased the numerous factions between the Sikhs and hence took on the title of being the Maharaja on the 12th of April 1801 at Lahore which was the capital of his rule since 1799. In the year 1802 though, The Maharaj had his claws in Amritsar.

He later devoted his rule in protecting his province from the aggression of the Pathans and Afghans. The Maharaja later took over Pashtun country including Peshawar.

Maharaja was also famous for inducting European experts to train his army force whose being there postponed the ultimate British rule of the state.

The Patron of the Arts

The truthfulness is the perfect hallmark of the Maharaja’s art. Although Maharaja had certain artists from the Pahari courts, the large quantity of portraiture explain how roughly everybody, The Maharaja included, was seeking an identity which was different to the one they felt in the plain villages of the state of Punjab.

The museum does not seek to revoke the grandeur of the past and bygone era but instead but instead is established to assert how the greater will of mankind has enabled a way of life that is sustaining and grand. This museum hence stands as an inspiration for men and women in this era to seek that glory.

Having said that, it would only be fair to assert that every period in the long history of this great country has seen its share of bloodshed, hatred and factious rites. But having said that, this soil has also given birth to its patrons who have genuinely taken on themselves to serve the great land without any factious hatred or betrayal.

Amongst several legendary people who have walked and served this country stands the glorious name of the Maharaja of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who took over the region in his early teens, yet consolidated the entire region and erased whatever factions that existed in this land. Hence having a unified land that was proudly called undivided Punjab.

Although a wing of the Maharaja was always indulged into the rigors of warfare, the Maharaja also devoted his time into nobility where he championed the cause of a civic order and secularism. The Maharaja also promoted and acted as the patron to several creative advances under his rule. The creative artists found their incubation in his rule and hence came up with brilliant artwork including verse prose, buildings and paintings.

There is complete honesty in asserting that the Maharaja was a man of warfare and hence naturally bore a tough mental character. But it should also be mentioned that despite this fact, The Maharaja took on himself the actual unification of the people and the land of Punjab. He also indulged personally into arts and often enjoyed a good meal with a dose of music and dances which perhaps explains how the artists found patronage under his rule. So high was his admiration of the art that he was often compared and at times equaled to the patronage given to the artists by the erstwhile Mughals.

Maharaja was often indulged personally into the maintenance of administration, upkeep of the army and the continuity of civic order in the rule that he was mentally tired and exhausted which made him retire to such art forms where he seeked peace, faith and a sense of belief in his own self.

He in his truest sense followed the principle laid down by Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji himself as he took on himself the conquer of a man’s heart with love and devotion as greater that the capture of any land.

Visitor Information

  • Timings: 10am-5pm (Tue-Fri), 10am-9pm (Sat-Sun)
  • Entry: Free
  • Closed: Monday & Public Holidays

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