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Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, Bikaner

Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum Overview

This museum is said to be the best in Rajasthan and is now run by the Government of Rajasthan. It has a superb collection of terra-cotta ware, paintings, coins, sculptures and arms.

Room four : Life size paintings related to the Bikaner state and other lords and warriors of the Muslim community can be found here. Credit goes to the great master of paintings Mr. A.H. Mullar.
Room six : It has the privilege of housing very important archaeological pieces like pots, shards, Beads, blades, Terracotta figurines, sculpture etc. The great Italian scholar Dr. L. P. Tessitory discovered most of these pieces and this archaeological discovery proves that a cultured Civilization flourished during the Gupta period (320-540 A.D.) between Hanumangarh and Suratgarh Divisions of Bikaner state. There is also a Jain Deity exhibited in this room. It is a marble sculpture of the goddess of learning of Jainism. This marble made image is known in Hindi language as 'Jain Saraswati” discovered by the Italian scholar Dr. L. P. Tessitory, and it was discovered from the Pallu village of Bikaner state. This marble sculpture is one of the greatest and most beautiful images of medieval India. Its grace and pose, the charming perfection of its anatomy, its smile of beatitude and the liquid softness of its dreamy eyes all this made the marble image of the deity is four feet and one inch high. It is also printed on the black and white folded pamphlet of the department of tourism. Govt of Rajasthan and is distributed free of cost to travellers. Fortunately Mr. Tessitory found two statues of this goddess. One is kept in the national museum of Delhi and the other adorns the glory of the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum of Bikaner State. There is also a section, which shows a wide range of miniature paintings, but they are kept in a protected gallery and one has to obtain the permission from the curator of the Museum to see them. Besides the miniature paintings the second storey also exhibits the local arts and crafts, but the most attractive are the miniature paintings of the 18th century, drawn by the great masters of Bikaner school.
Room three : This room shows lots of carpets of Persian look, but prisoners of Bikaner jail made them during state time. These are really beautiful carpets and even today the same types of carpets are made in the central jail of Bikaner.
Second room : The following items are exhibited in this section. 1. Art pieces of wooden work, made in Bikaner State. 2. Art pieces of glasswork, made in Bikaner State. 3. Metal post of Bikaner State. 4. Gilded leaf paintings on camel hide vessels. There is a carved teak wood casket displayed and this wooden casket is a unique example of wooden art. There are also some glass vessels kept.
Most fascinating… Twelve Months : Paintings of this series reflect the mental agony of a young girl who is in love with a noble man of warrior community, who has gone out to a war. In these paintings the mood of this girl, is depicted. She is shown pining, as many months have been spent without the caresses and embraces of her lover. Further she is shown in other paintings revealing the cruel time, that is eating up her youth and charming perfection of her anatomy. She is shown in her agony through the various seasons and natural phenomenon. Witnessing the moon she says, 'O Moon you know my condition, that when the whole world sleeps during night, I keep awake and you give me company, therefore you are my true companion. Now please do me a favour that since you may see the whole world, while you keep shining in the sky so find it out where my lover is and give him my message of love and good wishes and tell him to come immediately to me". Visiting hours 10.00 A.M. to 4.30 P.M. Weekly holiday Every Friday.
Museum : Bikaner Museum comprises some of the precious archaeological pieces, which prove that a cultured civilization flourished in the area of Bikaner division from 320 A.D. to 1200 A.D. The Great Italian scholar Sir Luigi Pio Tessitory, who was appointed for the archaeological survey of this region by his highness Ganga Singh in 1915 A.D, discovered most of these archaeological pieces. Bikaner Museum has two floors (Ground floor and first floor).
Room five : This room exhibits the weapons of Bikaner State like arrows, bows, daggers, swords, spears, war drums, pistols, Guns, cannons etc. Among them the most prominent is a diamond studded sword and shield of his Majesty Lord Bika.
Inauguration : Bikaner Museum was founded by his Majesty Ganga Singh, on the occasion of his golden jubilee in 1937, when he completed fifty years of his reign. A big celebration was held and dignitaries from overseas graced the festivity. Lord Linlithgow the then Viceroy of British India did inauguration of this museum. At first the museum was housed in a sand stone building near the Lalgarh palace, but it was rather a small building. So a mew building was constructed and his majesty Karni Singh declared it open to visitors on September 4/1954. In the first six years of its inauguration it remained in charge of the state government of Bikaner. Then in 1950 it was handed over to the state government of Rajasthan.
Ground floor : As one enters room no. 1 one gets to see two stuffed figures of a lion and tiger in a glass case. It shows that the rulers of Bikaner state were adventurous, and those particular animals were hunted by his majesty Ganga Singh. The room also exhibits numerous black and white photographs of British India. On the other side of the same room, seven life size paintings are displayed. These depict his majesty Ganga Singh and some contemporary dignitaries. Master painters Mr. A. H. Mullar, Mr. Jemes Genthric and Mr. William Orphan made all these paintings.
Glided leaf work on camel hide : One of the most elaborate, attractive and lovely sights of room no. 2 is glided leaf work. It is the typical art of the 'usta' artisans of the Muslim community. In the past, pots of this kind were exported to some countries on repeated demand.
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