How interesting it could be to travel back to past times!! It is a very usual wish any person would crave for – to ride a time machine and explore the past. Visiting a period of time that has passed in our life is, of course, a very interesting thing. If that is the case, how exciting it could be to walk along a course of time which had already elapsed long before we were born!! We can imagine how adventurous it would be, can’t we? Yes and here is a pleasing opportunity for all those who wish to travel back to the past. Here is a chance to be a spectator to the way of lifestyle people once lead, their tools of daily use, their heart-felt interests and even their economic circumstances. It is The Museum.
The Albert Hall Museum is Jaipur’s Hall of Fame, depicting the traditional, cultural, social as well as the economic lifestyles of the people of past from across the globe. This is the oldest museum in Rajasthan and is popularly known as ‘The Central Museum’. It is located in Ram Niwas Garden, in the outskirts of the city. Lying opposite to the New Gate in Jaipur, it has an easy access from the city walls as cabs and auto rickshaws can be hired at very feasible rates.
The Museum bears high resemblance of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London as it has been designed by Colonel Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob with the assistance of Mir Tujumool Hoosein. It is a notable point that the Museum was desinged as a token of invitation to greet the then Prince of Wales, King Albert Edward VII who toured India, in 1876. Even though it was designed by the English Colonel, the credits of building the monument belong to Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II and his successor Madho Singh II. In fact, it is believed that Sawai Ram Singh wanted the establishment to be a ‘town hall’ while he initiated it in the year 1868. Rather, his successor developed it as a museum with the aid of Sir Swinton so as to cherish it as the artistic Heart of Jaipur.
The Museum emulates the Indo-Saracenic Architecture as it stands as a confluence of Rajasthani (Indian), Mughal (Arabic) and Roman styles of architecture. It acts home to over 19000 historic objects of varied nature and utilities. The objects comprise the likes of household goods such as metal wares, potteries, carved wooden objects, ceramics, inlay works, clocks and carpets; artworks like jewelry, ivory works, lacquer works, textiles, clay models, sculptures made out of marble, tribal costumes, miniature paintings, toys, dolls and other craftworks made of wood and metal; educational items like specimens of scientific models as well as botanical and zoological models that represent a wide variety of flora and fauna. Weapons and arms of a high range of sizes and shapes, used by various classes of people, in different time periods, are also exhibited in the museum. Apart from all these objects, an Egyptian Mummy belonging to the Ptolemic Era and the Persian Garden Carpet that displays a running stream are the two remarkable things to be noted. Wandering across all these objects, The Central Museum takes us on a mesmerizing time travel to the rare sections of history.