Albert Hall is the oldest museum in the state of Rajasthan. The museum stands in Ram Niwas garden as a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. It is also known with the name of Government Central Museum.
Designed by Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob in 1876, it was created in time to greet King Edward VII as Prince of Wales on his visit to India and was opened to public ten years later in 1887. Initially Maharaja Ram Singh wanted this museum to be a town hall but Madho Singh II, his successor, decided that it should be a museum displaying the heritage and history of Jaipur city.
Situated in the gardens of lovely Ram Niwas Bagh in Jaipur, this museum has an exceptional collection of rare articles on display that include textiles, carpets, paintings, metal and wood crafts, pottery, arms and weapons, flora and fauna, toys, dolls and even an Egyptian Mummy from the Ptolemaic era. The famous carpet displaying the scene of a Persian garden with running water streams is also in this museum. The carpet was bought at a phenomenal price from Shah Abbas of Persia, by Mirza Raja Jai Singh I and is now the pride of India. Miniature paintings of a number of schools of Rajasthan are also present here.
The galleries on the ground floor of the museum have been completely remodeled. They depict the unique dresses and jewellery of all the classes and tribes of Rajasthan. The lifestyle of the tribal people such as Meenas, Bhopas, Bhils, Gadoliya Lohars besides the Rajputs and royals can be studied here. One gallery is completely devoted to the henna body art of Rajasthan, called 'Mehndi Mandana'. The typical ethnic Rajasthani motifs and designs recognized all over the world can be seen here. Puppets and Phad paintings, a style of scroll painting, are also on display. The Rajasthani music and dance forms displayed in the central gallery are the highlights of the museum.
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