History Museum Located in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University is one of the best and well organised museums in the city of Aurangabad. A part of the History Department of the University is perhaps one of the few museums in India attached to the University.
The History Museum is a brain child of the Late Dr. Ramesh Shankar Gupte, a renowned historian and scholar. Dr. Gupte contemplated the idea of a history museum in the University when he witnessed the rich historical treasures in the form of sculptures and archaeological objects scattered around in the Marathwada Region. The idea of preserving this rich heritage under one secure roof grew in his mind and with the permission of the University authorities and their kind co-operation Dr. Gupte housed the collection in one of the lecture halls of the History Department.
Initially, Dr. Gupte started with important plaster cast sculptures from the National Museum of Delhi, for assisting the history students in a visual study of the sculptural development in India and placed them chronologically. As early as the 70's Dr. Gupte felt that usual aids helped in better assimilation than formal class lectures.
Dr. Gupte achieved quick success in the development of the museum as the University wai also singularly fortunate in being located in the vicinity of the world famous cave monuments of Ajanta and Ellora. This region is virtually an archaeological paradise for it has yielded remarkable artefacts of the prehistoric times and can boast of a variety of cave temples and structural edifices.
In view of this rich archaeological and artistic potential of this region. Dr. Gupte made a humble beginning in collecting objects of artistic and historical value which in course of time has emerged as a very impressive project.
Since the region between the 7th and 12th century was ruled by a number of dynasties like Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and Yadavas it served to be a treasure house of umpteen temples which unfortunately were ruined due to time and exposure and lack of preservation. Permission for collecting all such scattered objects in Marathwada was obtained from the Maharashtra State Government and all sculptures were collected by Dr. Gupte with the assistance of the colleagues and housed in the museum.
With these collection of sculptures the large department in collaboration with Nagpur University started excavations at Bhokardan from where a large number of artefacts were collected. Later in collaboration with Deccan College the Department also collected a large number of objects from Daultabad excavation.
Sir Rao Bahadur Paranis
He owned a fabulous collection of original Rajput, Maratha and Mughal paintings. He also possessed a large number of curios. His large collection was added to the museum which also included illustrated manuscripts and coins.
Dr. S.B. Deshmukh : The Curator of the Museum also donated his collection of arms & armour, textiles, coins, semi-precious stones and excavation objects from Paithan. The present collection includes stone sculptures, bronze, brass and marble sculptures, copper, gold, silver coins, of different periods, miniature paintings, decorative arts, arms and armour, wood carvings, illustrated manuscripts, documents in both Modi and Persian and a variety of antiquities recovered in the archaeological excavations at Bhokardan, Ter (Satavahana si:es) and Daultabad. Sardar Bavane's paintings have further enhanced the artistic and the antiquarian value of the museum holdings.
In order to highlight the importance of the present collection, the Department of History and Ancient India has chalked out an ambitious scheme of publishing a series of catalogues, paintings, albums, pictures, portfolios and research publications. Some of these have already been published. A sculpture catalogue, illustrated manuscripts, Baramasa Paintings and Bavane's collection is published. The museum building contains many display galleries, halls and porches that exhibit the rich aspect of the museum holdings, such as paintings, ceramics, coins, sculptures, arms wood work etc.
The Ragamalas, the Baramasas, the portrait paintings, illustrated manuscripts that are displayed in the art gallery form a celebrated part of the art heritage of India. The sculptures and images of the Brahnanical, Jain and Buddhist affiliation form a proud part of the Museum's posessions. Among the numismatic finds of the history museum the most notable are the coins of the Satavahanas, Sakas, Tughlaqs, Deccan Sultanate, Mughal and the Maratha mints
Hiru Bhau Jagtap's Museum
It is a unique museum housed in the old ancestral Wadas which are fast vanishing. The romance of Hiru Bhau's Wada consists in the picturesque delineation and in its narrative precision. from old polished teak wood ceiling dangle glass handis in the shape of Kharbooza, in intensely vivid colours, the walls are embellished with swords, shields, stuffed reindeer heads, stag and deer horns, the nails of a tiger and old photographs of his ancestors in the Nizam's service, In a wall cupboard are numerous curios and a beautiful bronze Buddha image. An exceptional decortion in the front hall is a Persian carpet in emerald green, rich and gorgeous which seemed fascinating and magnetic bait for any visitor. Measuring 14'* 15' the carpet is 90 years old and brought from the Nizam of Hyderabad nearly 20 years back.The walls have swords and hilts hung most aesthetically and old guns. His collection also codes wine glasses, decanters, goblets, pitchers, coffee and tea pots from Belgium, France, China,Venetia and a number of other countries.
Some of the exclusive objects which he possesses are panther nails set in gold incasement and carved into shervani buttons. He has a set of 7 panther nail buttons, real pearl buttons used as cuff links and huge tiger nails. A small gold box intricately carved in fine jali work, a gold cigarette box, Queen Victoria's coins. He has a huge collection of coins from all periods which are carefully divided period wise and dynasty wise. Hiru Bhau's collection also includes old Kimkhab jamas worne during weddings, various curios, a Chinese pair of shoes. He has carefully collected cuttings and from various papers and filed them meticulously.
Located near Government College is a brain child of Shri Krishna Bhoghe who was responsible for the beautiful decoration of islands on all key roads of Aurangabad. He planned the museum into an octogonal shape giving it a rare appeal. It is a 92 lakh project. There are six huge halls which will contain historical objects, documents and manuscripts. A lofty, colossal gateway is fabricated and right inside this gate, in the open space a huge sculpture of Mother Jagdamba offering the Bhavani Sword to Shivraya will be carved. The sculpture will be constituted in bronze. Out of the six halls one hall will display rare documents and illustrated manuscripts and in the other halls arms and armour, textile, utensils, coins and other objects will be displayed. The renowned historian Babasaheb Purandare has taken personal interest in the museum and has promised to donate his collection to the museum. Other private collectors from Paithan and Aurangabad have also promised to donate part of their collection. Meanwhile the building is complete.
State Archaelogical Museum is housed in the medieval palatial building called Sunehri Mahal built by Raja Pahar Singh from Bundelkhand. In fact the beautiful coloured paintings of flowers, leaves and geometrical designs are themselves a visual feast because of the golden colour used abundantly for painting purposes. The palace is being well maintained by the State Archaeology though its content and meaning has transmuted from a medieval context to a modern context.
However, the display halls of the museum on the ground floor are well exhibited. The State Archaeology Museum was established in 1979 by the State Archaeology. The State Archaeology Museum was established with an aim of manifesting and esposing the cultural heritage in the form of paintings, sculpture and archaeological heritage of Marathwada region. These objects have been collected from various parts of Marathwada and are being well preserved and conserved in the museum. The museum is an attempt at introducing and familiarizing the visitors to the sculptures, paintings and other objects from the seven districts of Marathwada like Aurangabad, Parbhani, Nanded, Bhir, Latur, Osmanabad and Jalna.
Gallery No.l : Represents the objects discovered during the excavations carried on by the Museum Department and Maharashtra State Archaeology at Daultlabad. The excavations depict coins, pottery (coloured pottery), clay sculptures etc. The visitors are again assisted through a map of the site showing the structural complex and site photographs.The second showcase focuses on the marble and bronze Jain sculptures ranging from 13th to 16th century. Other bronze sculptures include Ganesha, Balkrishna, Ashtabhujdevi and Rampanchayat. The other showcase contains paintings of 18th century on wood representing Shesh Shahyi, Vishnu, Ram and Sita and also paintings on glass.
Gallery No. 2 : Exhibits plaster cast objects on Buddhism from Lonad in Thane District. Wood-carvings from Ellora have also been displayed. This work expresses intense delicacy and intricate designs carved artistically in wood of the highest quality.
Gallery No. 3 : The State Archaeology Museum however boasts about its sculpture gallery which is the carving of 'Rambha' which is completely rounded in black basalt from Aundha Nagnath of the 12th century A.D. Out often Vishnu incarnations five can be seen in this gallery. Other sculptures displayed are Lakshmi Narayan, Mahishasurmardini, Surya and Shiv Parvati.
Entrance Gallery : One of the best sculpture at the entrance is Keshavraj Vishnu. This was discovered from Ahmednagar district. It also contains a Satavahana period flour mill & a Ganesh Murti with three faces in wood seized by the Customs Dept. in Mumbai. It is coloured in oil paints.
On the open grounds of the museum on the left of the main gate entrance are the temples dismantled from Shevta and Saukhed during the beginning of the Jayakwadi dam project. These two temples have every stone numbered so that it can be replanted.
The Maharashtra State Government with the help of State Archaeology and the State Museum Department has drawn up an ambitious plan for a Regional Marathwada Museum. It is an eight crore plan which includes a huge museum building with galleries, Auditorium, Laboratory, Dark room, Cafetaria and Staff rooms. The plan also includes quarters, rest houses and the plantation of the two temples.
The galleries will emblazon the spare collection from Nagpur Museum and the excavation material from Paithan and other places. The museum will surround 13 acre area.
Dr. Purwar established a museum in Dec. 1970 a museum under the title 'M. Kaushalya Purwar Museum' located near Mohan Talkies, Aurangabad. Dr. Purwar dedicated himself to the national cause of collecting, preserving and exhibiting the articles of cultural value. The Purwar Museum is a single handed effort evolved out of a hobby of a student and lover of Art. Dr. Purwar's chief objective to start a museum was to collect, preserve and to develop national feelings and social and aesthetic scenes. His collection can be divided into fifteen categories.
1) The Coins, Medals and Seals Gallery: The coin collection dates back 650 B.C. There is a good collection of Satavahana Coins. New Kings portriats which are not known in History have been discovered by Dr. Purwar and form a proud collection of his coins. Varied size, shaped medals have also been collected. Seals dates back to 250 B.C. A rare Satavahana seal shows an agate seal in which Alexander is Shown worshipping a Goddess. Seals are in precious stones, silver, copper and agate.
2) The Stone Age Tools, Arms and Armour Gallery: Microlithic stone age tools have been discovered. There are number of daggers, swords, shields and other arms.
3) The Beads Gallery : There are various beads of semi-precious stones right from 300 B.C. The Beads are in stones like agate, carnelian and other semi precious stone. A rare blue bead on which is written Satavahana is a part of his collection.
4) The Sculpture Gallery : Sculptures in different mediums like terracotta, bronze, stone and crystal are displayed. Terracotta Gods, Shiva seated and also the collection displays figures right from its evolutionary stages upto its developed forms. There are bronze sculptures of Balaji, Shiva Parvati in marble and varied types of Garuda.
5) Painting Gallery : There is Kashmir Bhagvatgita, Guru Govind Singh in painting, paintings of folk art, Sawai Madhav Rao and Mahadji Shinde, Queen of Jhansi and number of documents belonging to Aurangzeb's period.
6) Manuscripts Gallery : Dr. Purwar museum preserves a large number of documents and manuscripts of different periods in Sanskrit, Persian, Modi, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Gujarati and Arabic.
7) The Textile Gallery : Paithan is known even in the book "Periplus of Erythrean Sea" 100 A.D. also displayed in the museum. Among the textiles are Kimkhwabs, Himroo, Mashru and Tankash.
8) The Gems and Jewellery Gallery : A rare bronze ring with Indra in the centre and two elephants at the sides.
9) Geological Gallery : To create an understanding of India's geological richness and geographical vastness.
10) Folk Art, Folklore, Folk Costumes Gallery
11) Natural history Gallery : displaying fossils, shells and corals.
12) Everday life Aesthetic Gallery: A large number of lamps in all metals, shapes and sizes, pottery, bidri art, ganjifas, ink pots and boxes of various kinds, shapes and sizes and nut
13) Music Gallery: Fine instruments like Vina and Sitar also form a part of the collection.
Dr. Purwar since the establishment of this museum has collected a number of new objects. He possess around 10,000 objects. Some of his recent collection are a bronze figure of Yakshini from Patna Devi and the lamp from Bimbetka etc. Dr. Purwar is donating nearly 1200 objects related with Shivaji's period to the Municipal Corporation's Shivaji Museum.
Ajanta Art Gallery
Ajanta art gallery is a display of the restructuring of Ajanta cave paintings. It is a devoted work of 30 long years by Mr. M.R. Pimpare, an artist employed in the History Department of Dr. BAMU, Aruangabad. His work is done on the basis of photographs and historical records like drawings with all details prepared indicating the extent of damaged portion and contracting it faithfully in colour.
Mr. Pimpare has undertaken an entirely new approach of preservation and conservation as well as restoration of paintings with the help of most scientific modern and sophisticated instruments. The new approach aims at conservation of paintings in its exact duplicate copy form exactly like the original which are displayed in the Art Gallery.It is also proposed by the Marathwada Statutory Development Board to have a permanent art gallery which would provide glimpses of the famous National Heritage. The proposal and its perusal has been the brain child of the earlier Chairman of Marathwada Statutory Development Board, Shri Diwaker Raote, whose dynamism, keen invlovement in development activities in the region has created a sense of hope amongst the people of this region.
Ajanta Art Gallery at present is located in Eknath Nagar, Near Shahnoor Miya Dargah.