Weather :

Ideal time : 3 hours

Entry Fee : Indians: INR 20,
Foreigners: INR 500

Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Closed on Fridays and on Public Holidays)

Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad Overview

A relic of history on the banks of the Musi River, Salar Jung Museum is located at Darushifa and is one of the crowning jewels of Hyderabad. It is one of the three national museums in the country and also among the largest at 10 Acres and 2 Floors. The most astounding part of going through Salar Jung Museum and its collection is realising that all of the artefacts inside belonged to and were collected by one man alone! The collection inside the museum is owned by Mir Yousuf Ali Khan who was also known as Salar Jung III. With over one million paintings, sculptures, carvings, manuscripts and artefacts, the museum is a repository of art collections a few of which date as far back as the first century. Some of the valuable and rare pieces in the museum are - A painting of Raja Ram Mohan Roy - the artist, Aurangzeb's sword, daggers that belonged to Shah Jahan, Jehangir and a full wardrobe of Tipu Sultan. The museum also has a number of priceless sculptures such as Veiled Rebecca, Double Statue of Mephistopheles & Margaretta and many more. The biggest attraction at the museum is the musical clock that dates back to the 19th century and consists of more than 350 parts.

Salar Jung Museum is the third largest museum in India and is the biggest one-man collection of antiques on the planet. The collection inside the museum was sourced from the Salar Jung Family. The museum is a testament to the passion of Nawab Mir Yusuf Khan for arts and antiques. It also houses an excellent library with more than sixty thousand books and almost eight thousand rare manuscripts.

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Salar Jung Museum Collections

The collections at the museum are from varied cultures ranging from Greek to Buddhist. The collections have been divided into different sections like the Indian Art, Far-Eastern Art, Middle-East art and so on. There is also a dedicated gallery showcasing the Salar Jung family. It is one the rare museums of the country with Sino-Chinese objects. The museum also has a famous Quran collection from around the world in various fonts and designs. There is a Quran written in Gold and Silver as well. There is a dedicated children's section which enthrals kids apart from providing them with an informal education.

Rare manuscripts on palm leaves, glass, wood, parchments, and textiles are stored in various languages such as Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, Urdu, and Turkish. There are more than a thousand calligraphic panels and miniature paintings. The subjects of these manuscripts range from medicine and poetry to magic.

History of Salar Jung Museum

Almost all collection at the museum was acquired by Nawab Mir Yusuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III, who was the former Prime Minister of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad. He spent a lot of money from his income over thirty-five years to make the priceless collections of things belonging to different civilizations. He relinquished his reputed post to collect rare and precious art objects. The collections that were left behind in his ancestral palace were formerly exhibited in a private museum inaugurated by Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1951. A public holiday was declared as respect on the day of his demise. It is believed that the present collection is just half of the original collection of Salar Jung III. In 1968, the museum shifted to its present location at Afzalgunj. Two more buildings were added in the museum compound on the turn of the twentieth millennium.
Salar Jung Museum is now a member of various historical and museological organizations such as ICOM-INC and Museum Association of India. It organizes regular exhibitions on different themes and also maintains a 'Mobile Exhibition Van' for outdoor exhibitions.

Structure and Galleries in Salar Jung Museum

The museum building has a semi-circular shape and it has 38 galleries within it. The galleries are spread on two floors and displays only a small part of the original collection. The ground floor has 20 galleries and the first floor has 18 galleries. Different subjects are exhibited in different galleries and each of these galleries is huge. They have artefacts, one of which dates back to the 4th century. Apart from the major galleries, there are libraries, reading rooms, sales counter and cafeteria.

Salar Jung Museum Clock and Veiled Rebecca

A beautiful vintage clock is installed inside the museum which draws a lot of crowd during the stroke on every hour. Acquired from the Cook and Kelvey Co. Clock, this British clock has more than three hundred parts. A bearded man in a robe comes out of an enclosure and hits the bell, the number of hits signifying the time of hour while a blacksmith constantly hits an anvil every second.

Another engaging experience is the sight of Veiled Rebecca, a sculpture created by a renowned Italian sculptor named Giovanni Maria Benzoni. The Hebrew Bible regards Rebecca as the wife of Issac. The life-size sculpture is skillfully wrapped in a transparent veil that is also a part of the marble masterpiece. The pedestal on which the sculpture stands is carved out of a single marble. There are only four copies of the Veiled Rebecca in the entire world.

Tips For Visiting Salar Jung Museum

1. Photography is not allowed within the museum premises.
2. Avoid using cell phones in the galleries.

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Q. I'd like to know details and (if possible) see a picture of the statue named "Rebeka" that I saw 10 years ago in the museum done by some Italian artist (if I remember well). Is somebody familiar with this sculpture ?

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