The Rajasthan State government run Central Museum in Jaipur is still popularly known as the Albert Hall. It was designed by architect Sir Swinton Jacob inspired by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, in the Indo – Sarcenic style and opened as a Museum in 1887. It was built to commemorate the visit of Albert, the Prince of Wales, to Jaipur in 1886; hence the name.
Centrally located in the beautifully laid out Ram Niwas Garden which is home to the zoological garden of Jaipur, the Central Museum is home to a 30 feet ‘Phad’ painting and the 16th century Persian Garden carpet, one of the most magnificent carpets ever woven. It is a different matter that this carpet is displayed in an antique case, which has accumulated so much dust and grime over years that nothing is visible inside.
The other artefacts in the Museum include some intriguing clay models of the people, their lifestyles and professions in the 19th century. These models now serve as a visual archive of the era gone by.
In the rest of the Museum, the displays have been aesthetically and painstakingly restored and redesigned and the visitor is pleased to connect to them via well-written and legible labels. For those who desire for more information an audio guide is available.
There is a well – researched catalogue made by the Museum sold in its bookshop. It should be mentioned that most of the Museum’s restoration and revamping has been done with a very skeletal staff of five sincere and dedicated people, the same team is responsible for the smart upkeep of the Museum.
The view from the Museum is breathtaking and this building and its environs are popular with the locals and global tourists.
This article was written and the photographs taken in 2011 by the author. Copyright of all the photographs rest with her.