When you think of mummies, it evokes memories about
Egyptian pyramids, where large numbers of dead bodies
are preserved in a bandaged form. Many people visit
Egypt to have a glimpse of the mummies which are embalmed
after a laborious process of mummification. Thousands
of years old mummies, chemically treated and wrapped
in linen cloth showcase the history that lies behind
One such type of unique mummy is present
in the AP State Museum located in Public Gardens.
The Egyptian mummy preserved in the museum is that
of a young pregnant girl aged between 16 and 18 years,
daughter of the VI Pharaoh of Egypt. "This mummy
is dated back to 2500 BC and is one of the six mummies
preserved in Indian museums," said MA Gaffoor,
In-charge of the AP State Museum. The mummy was bought
by Nazeer Nawaz Jung, the son-in-law of Mir
Mahboob Ali Khan, the VI Nizam of Hyderabad in 1920s
for a price of 1000 pounds. He gifted it to Mir Osman
Ali Khan, the VII Nizam of Hyderabad, who in turn
donated it to Hyderabad museum when it was opened in
the mummy, which generates lot of interest among the
visitors, is in a dilapidated condition. The chin portion
and also the limbs of the mummy are partially damaged
and the recent x-ray studies have indicated about the
missing of a tooth. The bandage which covers the body
has also become very loose and is in a decaying condition.
Apart from the mummy, AP State Museum also has a rich
collection of Stone Age implements, bronze statues,
paintings, stone sculptures, arms and weapons, manuscripts,
miniature paintings, and contemporary art collections.
They are housed in galleries like Arms and Weapons gallery,
Bronze gallery, European gallery, Ajanta paintings gallery,
Coins gallery, Inscriptions gallery, Textile gallery,
Brahmanical and Jain gallery and Buddhist gallery.
good number of architectural and railing members of
Amaravati stupa including the railings, pillars, cross
bars, lotus medallions, are on display at the Buddhist
gallery. A few panels depicted with stupa, dharmachakra,
and a 1st century BC bodhi tree brought from Chandavaram,
bodhisatva figures from Tirumalgiri and Buddha
statues from Amaravati are also on display in
the gallery. There is also a model of the Amaravati
stupa, erected to facilitate the students of architecture
to understand Buddhist art and architecture.
museum is a treasure house for its rich collection of
South Indian bronzes belonging to Buddhist, Jaina and
Hindu religions and a few decorative items like lamps
and lamp stands. The earliest bronze dated back to 1st
century BC is a figurine of mother and child recovered
from a Buddhist site at Dhulikatta in Karimnagar
district is one of the special items of this bronze
The other gallery named as Numismatics gallery possesses
a variety of coins minted on different metals like lead,
copper, silver, and gold representing dynasties like
Shatavahana, Vishnukundin, Kakatiya, Vijayanagara,
Mughal, Delhi Sultanate etc. An electroplated replica
of a 200 tola gold mohr of Shahjahan,
a rare specimen is the special attraction of this gallery.
The museum is considered as the second, next to British
Museum, London for its largest collection of coins.
interesting gallery in the museum is the Arms and Weapons
gallery which consists of artifacts belonging to iron
age, medieval and late periods representing the evolution
and usage of weapons in different fields. The gallery
has war weapons such as battle-axes, swords, daggers,
jambias, curved swords, shields, helmets, spears, and
bows and arrows belonging to Qutub Shahi, Nizam and
Mughal dynasties. A rare specimen of a gun used
by Tippu Sultan is the special attraction of
this gallery. The gun has an inscription in golden letters
and a symbol of tiger. The shield bearing the name of
the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and the sword of
the Nizam of Hyderabad studded with precious stones
are rare and exhibit fine workmanship.
AP State Museum has many specialities to its credit.
It is the only one of its kind in the country to possess
the replicas of the world famous Ajanta and Ellora
paintings done by two great artists of Hyderabad
Syed Ahmed and Mohammed Jalaluddin with
the help of lady Harringham during the years
1909-1911. Staying on for years in the dim lit caves,
the two artists copied the paintings frame by frame.
Even the damaged portions on the original wall paintings
were copied. The gallery showcases the dexterity of
the two great artists of modern era. Other than Ajanta
paintings gallery, the museum also has European paintings,
contemporary art pavilion which has miniature paintings
of Deccani, Mughal and Rajasthani schools and art works
of modern artists like Abdul Rahman Chugthai, Kapu
Rajayya, PT Reddy, Kondapalli Seshagiri Rao, S Janardhan,
Kamala Mittal and P Gouri Shankar.
of people visit this museum everyday. The building reflects
Indo-Islamic architecture with subtle domes, high arches,
stylish windows, and projected eves. "The building
was originally constructed in 1920s to house a rich
collection of dolls of the Nizam's daughter. Mir
Osman Ali Khan, the VII Nizam first conceived the
idea of a new museum to be developed exclusively to
display art objects. He converted this building into
a museum complex and named it Osmania Numaish Ghar
in 1930. Later the building was renamed as AP State
Museum when Hyderabad became part of India," said
Gaffoor throwing some light on the history of the museum.
The museum is a must visit place for the lovers of
history. The rich collection and the mummy makes it
as one of the interesting tourist spots in the country.
Museum Timings: 10:30 AM to 5: 00 PM. Open on
all days except Friday and other national holidays.
Ticket Charges: 50 paisa. (10 rupees extra for
Address: AP State Museum, Public Gardens,