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‘A visit to the State Museum, Lucknow, India’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

The State Museum, Lucknow houses a large collection of arte-facts and memorabilia and is located in Banarasi Bagh near Hazratganj. Besides others, it has impressive  numismatic, handicrafts, natural history, and ethnographic sections.

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A rather unusual statue of Lord Shiva. 5th century A.D. Lakhneswar Deeh, Balia.

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Another uncommon statue depicting Lord Shiva as a Maha Yogi, 5th century A.D. This statue from the Gupta period depicts Shiva in a skeletal form. Perhaps his body had reached this stage because of severe ‘tapasya’ (penance for discipline and focussed effort). Shiva is depicted as holding the ‘akshmala’ in his upper right and left hands. The left lower arm  is in a broken condition. This statue shows three eyes of Lord Shiva, a moustache and having long unkept hair (jatadhari). Visible in the background is a tree.

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 Statue of Padmapani, 12th century A.D, Mahoba.p1520096-lm-400-40

 This metal statue of lamp bearer looks more akin to those found in South India.

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Female head, 6th century A.D.

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 Bust of a peeping lady; 5th century A.D., Bhitargaon.

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Statue of Goddess Durga riding a lion.

Found in Shrivasti, this statue dates back to the 6th century B.C. It is made of clay in a round medallion form   bordered by lotus petals. The goddess is riding a lion.  It has two arms, trishul in the left hand and the right hand is broken. She is in jatajoot form (having long hair) and the third eye is also visible. The goddesss is depicted as wearing  ornaments-one string, bajubandh, manibandh (kangan), karghani and payal. The lower form of the goddess is shown draped in a sari while the upper portion is shown without it.

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One of the great pieces on display in this museum is an approximately 3,000 year old  Egyptian Mummy. This museum had  reportedly purchased it in 1952 from a UK national, Mr. J. J. E. Potter. It’s the mummy of a 13-year-old girl with unwrapped toe in one of the feet. This mummy is not being preserved in the best of conditions. True it is enclosed in a glass enclosure, but air-conditioning, moisture and light and dust control seem to be totally lacking. One hopes that the authorities will take care of this valuable piece. May I raise a question? If we can not take care of it, then why not send it to the country of its origin-Egypt. I have seen mummies being preserved very meticulously in Egypt.

Incidentally there are 6 Egyptian mummies in India, one each in Lucknow, Kolkatta and Hyderabad museums. I could not find out where the three remaining are located. The oldest in India is perhaps the 4500 year old mummy of Nasihu, daughter of the sixth Pharaoh of  Egypt lying in Andhra Pradesh.

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Approach to this Museum is cumbersome. It is located in the premises of the Lucknow Zoo. So first the visitor has to buy an entry ticket to the zoo and a camera ticket, if one is carrying one. This is so even if you are not interested in seeing or taking photographs of the birds, bees and the animals in the Zoo. When you reach the premises of the Museum after say 700 metres or so, you have to buy another ticket for entering the Museum and yet another ticket for the use of camera.

I did not come across any shop of the Museum selling books or artifacts. It is only later on that found on the net that there is such a shop.

Misc Information on museum:

Ticket: Rs. 5. Children below 12 pay only Rs.2.

Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

Weekly closed day:  Monday.

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Photos, text & copyright K.J.S.Chatrath

IMPORTANT: This website does not sell any hotel rooms/air tickets/packages/insurance cover etc.  It is intended only for providing information to the Fifty+/younger travellers and sharing of travel experiences. The above information is being shared only for the convenience of the readers who are advised to double check the information and satisfy themselves before taking any decision.

I am happy to share with you about the starting of another website by me:       www.gravematters.in 

Grave matters….matters of graves…graves and cemeteries….tombs and graves…cemeteries and graveyards….photos of gravestones from all over the world…inscriptions from all over the world…sad, inspirational and some with a sense humour… I look forward to receiving your encouragement and advice.

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.

2 Responses to “‘A visit to the State Museum, Lucknow, India’ by K.J.S.Chatrath”

  1. Sukhdev Bedi says:

    A good peep into the history of our rich art.

  2. Sandeep Mathias says:

    How much time should you take to schedule for a visit to BOTH the Zoo and the Museum?

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