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Government Museum, Mount Abu
A visit to the beautiful Dilwara temples (*****) will be a memorable experience. The only hill station in western and central India - Mount Abu has been a centre of cultural activity since the pre-historic period. It was the capital of the Parmars in 13th century AD and later on came under the Chauhans. The museum was set up in 1962 within the Premises of Raj Bhawan to preserve the archaeological wealth of the region.
The first section has been adorned by a diorama of local tribal hut with their usual living style by adding a gallery of weapons, musical instruments, ladies ornaments like barly, damani, karna, guthma toda, gaga wala thoomar, kanksi berla, various type of earrings and garments etc. belonging to hill dwellers.
The second section has a series of miniature paintings based on raga-ragnis, lain images from Sirohi, medium sized shields, a small canon called 'Topdi' and some pieces of carvings on local wood.
The notable collection of this museum, is the finely carved out statues of Devdasi or Nartakis (Dancer) ranging from 6th century AD to 12th century AD procured from an ancient township called Chandravati, 7 km away from Abu. There is an image of the Chakrabahu Shiva having a trishul in one hand and a khadag in the other and sitting on Nandi, the bull. On each side of Shiva are dancing girls.
In the Abu collection consisting of 404 sculptures, the most distinctive exhibit is the Vish Kanya (snake goddess) which is 3 feet high. It is shown breast-feeding a snake. The figures are well executed and the attitudes are impressive and natural. It also has the Surya (8th century AD) found in Achalgarh, the Shiva (10th century AD) brought from Dilwara temple. The Chanvar Vahini and Laxmi (12th century AD) also from Chandravati and the Chanmunda (8th century AD).
The Sculpture Gallery has some memorial inscriptions collected from nearby areas e.g. Chapa's inscription, (local heroine of Achalgarh).
In Raj Bhawan, Mount Abu. Timings : 10 am-4.30 pm, Friday closed.