Hyderabad city is noted for many heritage attractions, that reflects the region’s legacy and history. The State Museum located in Public Gardens, Hyderabad, is one such prominent attraction, which is home to one of the richest repositories of antiquities in the region. The museum building reflects Indo-Islamic architecture with subtle domes, high arches, and stylistic windows etc.
Archeologist Henry Cousens is believed to be the first person who explored this site during the beginning of the 19th century in the heart of Hyderabad. The mound was later excavated under the supervision of Nizam of Hyderabad. The excavated items were placed in a museum built on the ancient site in 1920s by Mir Osman Ali Khan, the VIIth Nizam The Museum was formally inaugurated in the year 1931.
The Nizam had contributed his personnel collection of art objects along with the antiquities recovered from his dominion for display. The Hyderabad Museum was renamed, as the State Museum under the Department of Archaeology & Museums.
Collections of State Museum, Hyderabad
The collection is spread across two floors of the heritage building, two floors of semicircular galleries. There is a separate contemporary art pavilion building along with an annex building located behind.
Sculpture Garden Gallery
There are 93 sculptures and architectural items displayed here, dating from Satavahana (2nd century B.C.) to the Post Vijayanagara period (17th century A.D.) in different stone forms. There two four pillar mandapas belonging to Kakatiya and Vijayanagara times, a number of Veergals (Hero Stones), Panchaloha, Iron Cannons and a Wooden Chariot shifted from Jetprole village which are displayed in the garden.
Renowned Egyptian Mummy
The museum’s main attraction is its 2,353-year old Egyptian mummy. It was brought to Hyderabad by the son-in-law of VI Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan, who donated it to the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan. He reportedly acquired this for a sum of 1000 pounds.
Other Highlights of the State Museum
- Buddhist gallery
- Important Buddhist and Jain relics
- Coins of the Satavahana period
- Sculptures of different periods
- Ajanta gallery
- Numismatics gallery
- Arms and armour gallery
- Brahmanical and Jain gallery
- Bronze figures from the Vijayanagar and Chola periods
- Roman era coins
- Copies of Buddhist murals from Ajanta Caves