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World > India > Museums > The Government Museum, Alwar

The Government Museum, Alwar

The Government Museum

Maharaja Jai Singh and Vieny Singh were instrumental in setting up this museum, which is housed in a portion of the old city palace of Alwar. It has a representative collection of sculpture of the region, paintings and manuscripts, and a number of articles belonging to the royal family of Alwar, such as textiles, royal robes, turbans and ceremonial gowns. Items from the palace, such as hookah stands, fly whisks, pen holders, plates, boxes and ornamental vases stand witness to the eclectic tastes of 19th century Indian royalty. the strangest object is a silver dining table with a motor that moves water around it, giving the illusion of it being a floating fish.

A unique collection of arms, lacquered and ivory work, musical instruments and brass and pottery works from Jaipur, Multan, Bengal and Sri Lanka are on display, The museum also has miniatures paintings as well as Persian and Sanskrit manuscripts.

The museum has a large display of arms, including ornamental and ceremonial shields inlaid with gold and silver. swords and the katar (dagger) with a variety of different types of hilts - some worked with metals, some ivory, even walrus bone, crystal and jade inlaid with precious stones - are on display.

For the lover of traditional Indian art, it is the painting and manuscript sections that are the most interesting. The museum has a copy of the famous Gulistan (The Rose Garden), written in 1258. The entire manuscript is beautifully illustrated by artists of Alwar.

Paintings from the Alwar school of the 19th century include a series of the incarnations of Vishnu and a Ragamala series, and there are some late Mughal paintings, as well as portraits of the Alwar royal family.

Another curiosity of the museum is an illustrated scroll, written on a single sheet some 80 yards long, of hand-made Kashmir paper. The extraordinary calligraphy has to be read with a powerful magnifying glass.

Government Museum, Alwar, Rajasthan.
Timings : 10 am- 5 pm. (Friday closed). Entry: Rs 3 & Rs.10 (foreigners)
Suggested viewing time : an hour.

For all museums : Timings : 10 a.m.- 4.45 p.m. Friday closed. Entry: Rs.3, Rs.10 (foreigners).


An excellent collection of sculpture from the Chauhan centre of the Baghera district, dating from 10th century A.D.


The museum features excavates material from ancient sites. The exhibits include pottery, old coins, seals, metallic pieces, weapons and statues.


The museum has sculptural fragments of the 8th century city of Chandravati and sculptures and epigraphs from the Jhalrapatan region.

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