Website Developed By Director, Allahabad Museum on 21st June 2011
The Allahabad Museum is centrally located in the Civil Lines area of city in the lush green Chandrashekhar Azad Park popularly known as Company Bagh. It is about 3 kms from Allahabad railway junction and almost equidistant from Prayag and Rambagh Railway Stations and about 12 km from Bamrauli Airport.In 1863, the Board of Revenue requested the Government of North-Western Provinces for the establishment of a public library and a museum.
With donations from the provincial government, the famous OrientalistSir William Muir and the Maharaja of Vijaynagaram, a superintendent of library and museum was appointed and an ornate building was inaugurated in 1878 to house the collection. For unforeseen reasons the museum closed down in 1881. The initiative to reopen the museum was taken by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the President of the Allahabad Municipal Board in 1923-24. Under the operational direction of Pandit Brij Mohan Vyas, the executive officer of the board, a museum was opened in the Municipal Building in 1931. Under the tutelage of Pandit Vyas, the museum acquired important collections, including ancient sculptures from Bharhut and Bhumra. In 1942, S.C. Kala the first curator gave the much needed impetus to enriching the collections of the museum, especially adding the Nehru Personalia Collection and the Bengal School Paintings. As space became a constraint, it was decided that the museum should be shifted from the Municipal Board building to new premises. The foundation stone of the present museum building was laid on 14th December 1947 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the museum was opened to the public in 1954.
Galleries of Allahabad Museum Important objects of museum collection have been displayed in the Sixteen Galleries of the Museum including one gallery for temporary exhibitions. These galleries are: Introductory Gallery: The central hall of the Allahabad Museum is called introductory gallery as it contains a representative collection of paintings of AK Haldar, sculptures, Pistol of Chandra Shekhar Azad and an Ivory chariot gifted to Pt. Nehru from Karnataka. Archaeological Gallery/Rock Art Gallery: A representative collection of objects connected with Harappan culture and Copper hoard culture are on display. Seals and sealings collection containing names of individuals, trading guilds, kings, nobles, officials and educational institutions are also an important attraction. Terracotta Gallery: The Museum has a rich collection of more than six thousand terracotta objects belonging to Kausambi, Jhusi, Ahichchhtra, Rajghat, Patna, Buxar, Chandraketugarh and various other places of U.P., Bihar and Bengal. Gajalakshmi, standing Lakshmi on lotus are some of the exquisite pieces in the terracotta collection. Early Sculpture Gallery: The stone sculptures include exquisite panels, coping stones etc. from Bharhut, Kushana sculptures from Mathura, Gupta sculptures and 11th century carvings from Khajuraho. The masterpieces of stone sculpture includes the tasselled head of Shiva projecting from a stone linga which potrays the classical purity of Gupta art. A blue schist Bodhisattva resembling the image of Greek God Apollo depicting the syncretisation of Indo-Greek styles. The bejeweled yakshis from Jamsot are the finest sculptures in this gallery. Medieval Sculpture Gallery: The sculptures dating back to medieval period are displayed in this gallery. Prominent among these are Uma Maheshwar, Chamunda, Varah, Adinath, Jamsot Nayika, Vishnu etc. Miniature Painting Gallery: The painting of 18-19th century paintings from Rajasthani, Mughal, Kangra styles are displayed here. Literary Gallery: This gallery mainly contains personalia collections of Pt. Sumitranandan Pant, ‘Nirala’ and Mahadevi Verma. Besides these, collection of Prem chand, Ram Kumar Verma and Naresh Mehta are displayed. Natural History Gallery: This gallery houses the stuffed species of avies, reptiles and mammals including various species of migratory birds, leopard, cub, tiger, peacock, ostrich etc. Gandhi Gallery: It contains photographs of Mahatma Gandhi from his days in South Africa to his involvement in the Freedom Struggle in India. It also has on display original salt made by Gandhi at Dandi. The pocket watch of Mahatma Gandhi and brass caskets in which Mahatma’s ashes were taken to Sangam, Allahabad and the Ford vehicle that carried the ashes of Gandhi to Sangam for immersion is parked in a separate enclosure outside the Museum. Nehru Gallery: This gallery contains the personalia collection of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru including welcome addresses, autobiography of Nehru, caskets and photographs from Pt. Nehru childhood to his last days. A golden stick and a model of Anand Bhawan add lustre to the gallery. Decorative Art Gallery: Beautiful wooden furnitures glazed pottery including Deft ware from Holland and pottery from China and ivory carving are the most attractive items in the collection here. Arms, Armours and Bronze Gallery: The Museum also possesses a variety of arms and armours including medieval swords, body armour, antique pistols and small daggers. The pride of place is occupied by a gold sword cover gifted to the museum by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. Textile Gallery: It contains several exquisite textiles including Baluchari Saree and Zari work. Modern Indian Painting Gallery: Allahabad Museum has a large collection of Bengal School of Art and Modern Painting of Anagarika Govind, Nicholas and Svetoslav Roerich. Among the works of the Bengal School the museum has the largest collection of the paintings of Asit Kumar Haldar. Freedom Struggle Gallery: It contains the photographs from Revolt of 1857 to India’s independence. It also contains valuable letters of Mahatma Gandhi. The gallery has on display valuable match box labels printed in Sweden, Japan and Australia and the sword and dress of Liaqat Ali of Allahabad. Publications: Museum has published number of Books, Catalogues, Seminar proceedings in order to encourage research and education and a variety of souvenir items like replicas of sculptures, picture post cards, prints of original paintings.
Gandhi Smriti Vahan