Museums in Gujarat
Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum
The impressive Laxmi Vilas Palace, in the Indo Saracenic style of architecture, was once the residence o) the Gaekwad family. The Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, located in the sprawling grounds of the palace complex, is a multi purpose museum and houses the Gaekwad family's rich collection of an treasures.
Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery
Located in the popular Sayaji Bagh, the museum houses a collection which belonged to the former maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad. Indian rulers during the Raj often collected all kinds of European art and other knick knacks. Largely being the personal collection of the maharaja, the exhibits span across centuries and continents, as well as diverse art forms. There are Greek and Roman sculpture with European paintings of earlier periods. Asian section has items from Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, China and Japan made of wood, ivory, bronze and pottery.
Surendra Patel, an interior designer by profession, has initiated a unique culi experience. He has set up on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, a quaint rural cr where visitors can savour authentic Gujarati village cuisine, before wandering through the grounds to see a museum devoted to Indian utensils. Here the different utensils have been placed in a simple structure set around an open courtyard. Collected from all over India, the endeavour is to demonstrate the purity of form and shape in these objects of utility. The pot to store water in, utensils to cook and serve in, spoons, rolling pins, a huge vessel in which buttermilk was churned, each object is beautifully conceived and created to prove that beauty lay not only in the large and the splendid hut also in the simple objects of everyday use.
Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya
The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya is run by a public trust established in 1951. The museum's new premises were built in 1963. The museum's main objective was to house the personal memorabilia of Mahatma Gandhi. Consequently the exhibits on view depict the vivid and historic events of Gandhiji's life. There are books, manuscripts and photostat copies of his correspondence, photographs of Gandhiji with his wife Kasturba and other ashram associates, life size oil paintings and actual relics like his writing desk and spinning wheel.
Calico Museum of Textiles
Established in 1948, the Calico Museum of Textiles is undoubtedly one of India's leading museums. Its superb collection of textiles is further enhanced by a line collection of pichhwais and patachitras (paintings on cloth). The museum is housed in two buildings, one displaying textiles of religious significance and the other traditional court fabrics, tents, carpets and costumes.
Recognising the fact that most an in India revolves around religion, the museum endeavours to present its collection in themes connected with the two great Indian religions: Vaishnavism and Jainism, and simulates a suitable religious atmosphere. The first exhibit is a replica of a small recoiytructed Pustimarga shrine with an idol of Srinathji placed on an altar, covered with a painted textile. The shrine leads to galleries where pichhwais and textiles belonging to the Vallabha sect are displayed. The 90 pichhwais are divided into groups relating to festivals, seasons and a variety of devotional themes.
A collection of rare photographs relating to the life of Mahatma Gandhi are on view at the Gandhi Museum. These recreate the significant events of Gandhiji's life. Also displayed are documents, letters and his personal relics. The collection of audio-visual material includes microfilms, a voice library, prayers and lecture records.
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