The State Museum on Hyderabad is home to some of the best antiquities and art objects in the country and proud of its culture and heritage. The State Museum building reflects the Indo-Islamic architecture with subtle domes, high arches, stylistic windows and projected eves.
The Museum was first surveyed by Archeologist Henry Cousens during the beginning of the 19th century. The mound was later excavated under the supervision of Nizam of Hyderabad. The Museum was formally inaugurated in the year 1931. Many objects exhibited are contributed by the Nizam from his personal collection. The Hyderabad Museum was subsequently renamed, as the State Museum under the Department of Archaeology & Museums.
The Museum showcases Hindu, Jain & Buddhist sculptures along with decorative art objects, paintings and objects from 18th-19th century in a Period Room. The main attraction of the museum is a 2,353-year old Egyptian mummy. This mummy is reported to have been brought to Hyderabad by the son-in-law of VI Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan. He later donated it to the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan. A gallery in the museum is dedicated exclusively to Buddhist culture. It showcases a wide variety of archaeological artifacts gathered from the Nizam era and Kakatiya dynasty.
The collection is spread across two floors of the heritage building. The floors of semi circular galleries are separated in contemporary art pavilion and in an annex building located behind. The Sculpture Garden Gallery displays 93 sculptures and architectural items dating from Satavahana to the Post Vijayanagara period in different stone media.
Some of the highlights of the Museum include:
- Egyptian Mummy
- Important Buddhist and Jain relics
- Buddhist gallery
- Coins of the Satavahana period
- Brahmanical and Jain gallery
- Arms and armour gallery
- Sculptures of different periods
- Ninth and tenth century Jain figures (particularly the goddess Ambika)
- Numismatics gallery
- Ajanta gallery
- Bronze figures from the Vijayanagar and Chola periods
- Roman era coins
- Copies of Buddhist murals from Ajanta Caves