On #InternationalMuseumDay, Here are 5 must-visit museums in Aurangabad.
1. Chatrapati Shivaji Museum, Subhedari Guest House.
The museum is dedicated to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The exhibits on display tell stories of the glorious reign of the brave king, showcased in six galleries. The photo gallery reveals forts built and conquered by Shivaji. The display comprises Maratha war weapons and other artefacts from the battlefield of some of the most popular wars that the Marathas fought. Looking at the display, visitors can also get a detailed idea of the lifestyles of the people of Shivaji Maharaj's era. "I frequently visit this place with friends and relatives and every time I go there, I end up learning something new. There is a lot to be seen here that one can't cover in a single visit," says Alok Shinde, a polytechnic student.
2. Soneri Mahal, BR Ambedkar Marathwada University Campus.
Built by Bundelkhand chief Paharsingh in 17th century, Soneri Mahal is a picturesque palace at the foot hills of scenic Satara mountain range. The palace interiors are adorned with paintings made with pure gold. The historical monument has now been converted into a museum that has nine galleries displaying regional antiquities such as sculptures, paintings, ornaments, pottery and weaponry. Noteworthy among the display are the paintings acquired from different parts of Maharashtra. "Very few of the paintings are intact as many of them could not withstand the ravages of time. The few that we have are visual wonders," says Uday Surve, assistant curator of the museum. The paintings reveal the artistic sensibilities of the people of the past and are worth treasuring for future generations, mentions Surve.
3. History Museum, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Campus.
The museum is established by Ramesh Shankar Gupte who have collected a lot of artefacts from around the region dating the Paleolithic to the Satavahana dynasty era. The collections reveal the cultural and artistic facets of some of India's glorious eras. The museum has two display gallery halls that exhibit more than 125 sculptures telling stories from of art and life in Marathwada. One can witness sculptures, a fascinating collection of coins, religious manuscripts, utensils, armour, canons, weapons and ancient ornaments, all under one roof. "We also have a wide collection of 5,000 rare antiques, many of which have been donated by passionate collectors," says Kumar Bhawar, curator of the museum. He also mentioned the need to have at least two or three more galleries in order for it to be possible to display the entire collection.
4. Hyderabad Marathwada Mukti Sangram Museum, Siddharth Garden.
The museum is dedicated to the memory of the struggle to liberate Marathwada from the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1948. The paintings on display here recreate scenes of the freedom struggle. The entrance to the museum is beautifully designed and is mesmerizing. "Even though India became independent on August 15, 1947, the people of Hyderabad state, including those in Marathwada, had to wait for another 13 months to get freedom from the Nizam's rule. The museum is the place to head to, if one wants to know more about this story of bravery and victory," says Nayab Ansari, member of Aurangabad history academy.
5. Matoshree Kaushalya Purwar Museum, Sarafa Road.
Located inside an ancient haveli, this museum was founded by Dr SS Purwa in 1970. The 15 galleries here showcase the personal collections of Dr Purwar. Some of the artefacts on display include those from the pre-Harappan era, ancient Indian sculptures and bronze idols, paintings, coins, seals, manuscripts, paithanis saris and stamps. Prakash Purwar, museum director, says, "Every year, we organise two to three exhibitions for people to be able to soak in the information about the glorious and unknown parts of our history and culture. Our aim is to create awareness and keep history alive in the hearts of people."