The Role of Museums, aiming the dispersal of knowledge pertaining to Ancient Indian Culture, is note-worthy. Keeping this aim in view, the Archaeological Museum, Gurukul Kangri (Deemed to be University), Hardwar was established during the fostering years of the Gurukul in 1907-08 on the eastern bank of the holy Ganges at Punyabhuminear Kangri Village, nestled close to the Shivalik foothills, with the inspiration of Swami Shraddhanandji. It is now more than a century old institution of national importance. The main aim to establish it was to give knowledge of ancient culture and civilization of India to the students as well as to the common people, because the utilityof the museum as a mode of education has been proved by UNESCO.
The knowledge, which is acquired after reading several books, can be obtained just after visiting the museum. The role of museum has also been reflected not only in educating and uplifting thehealthy mental levels of the children as well as the common people but to amuse them also. In the early collections of the museum mention may be made of almost intact physical remains of two Germane canons literally known as Emadon, which were fired during the First World War at the Madrasharbor. In the same year some specimens of marine objects were presented to Swamiji by his close friends Mr. A.T. Brooke’s and Mr. C.F. Andruse. In 1911 a model of telephone was donated to the museum, which was prepared by the students of Gurukula under the supervision of anUpacharya namely Mr. Mahesh Charan Sinha.
The Gurukul Museum was getting high success in fulfilling the major works of Museums, which are acquisition, display and Preservation, during the early years of its existence. A large number of art objects were collected in the museum by 1924. But in the same year a major part of the collections of the museum was destroyed in the floods of the river Ganges. Therefore, realizing the importance and utility of the museums, this museum was reorganized in 1945 putting emphasis on the acquisition of historical material.
Even during the days of before partition much attention was made towards the growth in the number of the museums and their further development and in this direction full credit goes to Dr. Sampurnanandji, then education minister of undivided Uttar Pradesh, who constituted a museum committee for the reforms in the status of the public museums and its growth. The name of the revered city of Hardwar was also chosen and recommended for the place of the establishment of a public museum. This is one of the major centers of Hindu pilgrimage. and their However, realizing the key role of a museum as a mode of education, it was re-organized and inaugurated at the present campus of the University by an eminent art historian, Dr. Vasudeva Saran Agrawal in 1950. Further it obtained the real shape of a museum in 1980 by classification of art objects and displaying them in their respective galleries in the present building, located at a distance of about100 m towards east from the famous DayanandDwar, the newly renovated gate on the Delhi-Hardwar highway, in the main campus of the University. Clad in white color this three-storey building is crying for the construction of its third floor fully for further extension and development of the museum.
At present the museum has the following objectives:
- To collect and display antiquities and art objects in order to provide important knowledge to the students as well as the common people about glorious cultural past of India.
- To conduct archaeological investigations, in the shape of explorations and excavations, in Hardwar and its adjoining regions in order to throw fresh light on the regional cultures and to collect antiquities to enrich the museum collections.
|Dr.Rakesh Kumar Sharma
|Sh. Manoj Kumar
|M.A.,P.G. Dip.in Archaeology, UGC-NET
|Dr. Satyendra Singh
|Dr. Deepak Ghosh
There are three members of curatorial staffs working in the museum, whose details are as follows:
- Shri Manoj Kumar( M.A., P.G. D. A.)- Curator who has not only participated in various excavations but also directed excavations at the site of ShyampurGarhi ( dist. Dehradun) . He has also been curating several galleries of this museum and also co-authored three publications of this museum. He has also participated in various national and international seminars held in India and abroad. He has also delivered invited lectures on Pala Art at various places viz. Patna, New Delhi etc. Currently He is working on the sculptural art of Kurkihar for his doctoral dissertation. He has also been invited by the DG, National Museum for curation of a proposed exhibition on Kurkihar Bronzes. He has also rendered his academic service as question setter and examiners of different universities.
- Dr. Satyendra Singh( M.A., Ph. D.) – Assistant curator has many publications to his credit. He has also been participated in various explorations in the districts of Haridwar,Pauri and Chamoli districts of Uttrakhand for the last five years. He has also rendered his specialized curatorial service for reorganizing several galleries of the museum. He has also given his technical expertise every year during the annual archaeological site visit in various states of the country (Annual Archaeological tour) of the department.
- Dr. Deepak Ghosh ( M.A., Ph. D.) Assistant Archivist has been provided his services for the smooth functioning of the museum. He has also given his technical expertise in modernizing the museum. He has also been taking keen interest in guiding both our national and international visitors.
The Archaeological museum, being a part of the department of Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology, conducted archaeological survey of various sites of historical importance, such as GarhiShyampur, KundiShrota, Pandu Shrota, Imlikhera, Sultanpur, Azmeripur, Puranpur, Lal Dhang, Nasirpur, Sarsawa (Saharanpur) etc. Various types of antiquities collected during the survey are being displayed in the museum . The site of GarhiShyampur was excavated by Shri Manoj Kumar, Curator under the general supervision of then director Prof. S. N. Singh during the session 2003-04. the same work was carried out by Shri Manoj Kumar, Curator in the years 2004-05 & 05-06 respectively under the supervision of Prof. Rakesh Sharma, the present Director of the museum, which yielded various important antiquities i.e. the tribal coins of Kuninda rulers, coins of Kashmir rulers etc. the painted grey ware sherds (1000 B.C. – 700 B.C.) were also collected at that site.
In order to achieve the above objectives, the collections of the museum have been classified and displayed in the following galleries:
- Protohistoric Gallery ;
- Swami Shraddha NandKaksha;
- Stone Sculpture Gallery;
- Terracotta’s Gallery;
- Coins Gallery;
- Metal Sculptures Gallery;
- Painting Gallery;
- Arms Gallery;
- Manuscripts Section;
- Miscellaneous Section which comprises beautifully executed modern sketches of the bygone ages, hair dresses of different historical periods, charts showing development of ancient Indian scripts, meticulously depicted birds of the Kalidas times and etc.
- Himalayan Darshan Photo gallery.
1. Protohistoric Gallery
In this galley, antiquities of the Harappa culture, Copper-Hoard culture and Painted Grey ware culture have been displayed.
(A) Harappa Culture Section (C. 2500-1900 BC)
It includes Harappan antiquities of terracotta i.e. human and animal figurines (human figurines are mostly mother goddesses), different types of beads, ornaments like bangles and rings, cakes and mushtikas and sling balls. Mention may also be made of stone antiquities of the Harappan times i.e. sling balls of different sizes, chert blades and weights. Typical Mature Harappan bone points and Fragments of shell bangles and complete pieces of shell inlays are meticulously displayed in this section. Metal objects of Mohenjo-Daro have been elegantly displayed in this section. It comprises chisels, spearhead and a small pan of copper. Some of them are inscribed with typical mature Harappan letters. Besides these, a good number of beautifully painted Harappan potteries also attract visitors of this museum. These antiquities were discovered during the excavations of well-known Harappan sites of Mohenjodaro (dist. Sindh, Pakistan), Rakhigarhi (dist. Hissar, Haryana), Banawali (dist.Fatehabad, Haryana) and Kalibanga (dist. Hanumangarh, Rajasthan).
(B) Copper-Hoard Culture Section (C. 2000-1500 BC)
Here, a good number of OCP (Ochre Coloured Pottery) sherds along with objects relating to Copper-Hoard culture have been housed. Different types of Celts with Harpoon, hooked spearhead and antennae swords from Nasirpur (tehsil – Roorki, dist. Hardwar) have been displayed in a single showcase.
(C) Painted Grey Ware Section (C. 1100-700 BC)
A good number of painted Grey Ware sherds depicting various designs have been displayed in this showcase. Some sherds of Black & Red ware were also found place in this showcase.
2. Swami Shraddha Nand Kaksha
One of the main themes of this museum is this Kaksha where in photographs relating to his life right from his early days to his assassination, enlarged photo copies of documents testifying his active role in the struggle of freedom of India, enlarged photocopies of his correspondence with Mahatma Gandhi and other contemporary leaders and editorials on his assassination published in then country’s daily and weekly newspapers of national repute, are displayed. Swamiji’s clothes and other daily used utensils & etc. deserve special mention.
3. Stone Sculpture Gallery
In this gallery Sculptures relating to Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jain religions and ranging in date from Harappa times to modern times (20th century AD) have been meticulously displayed. These were discovered at Kannauj, Amshrot (Hardwar), Lal Dhang (Hardwar), Pandu Short (Garhwal), Jheevarhedi, Sultanpur, Mayapur and Kangri village (Hardwar). Amongst important sculpture, image of Shalbhanjika depicted on Vedikastambha, a stone panel depicting Samudramanthan scene (c. 9th century AD) from Jhibarheri & Jain SarvatoBhadrikPratima (c. 9th-10th centuries AD) from Amshrote (Hardwar) deserve special mention.
4. Terracotta’s Gallery:
Terracotta figurines, panels and plaques ranging in date from Harappan times to late Gupta period have been displayed in this gallery. These terracotta belong to Mohenjo-Daro (Sindh, Pakistan), Mathura, Kaushambi, Vidisa, Shahbad (Hardoi), Awala (Bareli), Sarsawa(Saharanpur) and Imlikhera (Hardwar). It comprises of mother goddesses, male and female’s heads, icon of Mahisasurmardini, mother holding child, votive tank and various panels depicting Mithuna scene. Important terracotta such as Mother Goddess from Mathura (c.3rd century BC), head of female deity from Mathura (c.2nd century BC) &Mahisasuramardini from Kausambi (c.2nd century BC) are worth mentioning.
5. Coins Gallery:
This gallery is also one of the most important and attractive galleries of this museum. The rich collection of the coins ranging in date from the earliest known punch marked coins to the modern times is more than 4000 in number. It also includes the coins and currencies of as many as 40 foreign countries of the modern world. It has also the collection of the 30 deshiRiyasatas of the British India. Four specimens of plaster cast in large size of the gold coins of the Gupta rulers are really feast for the eyes of the visitors. These coins are of different shapes, size and style and were discovered from various places. Important coins like punch – marked coins in Silver and uninscribed copper cast coins of Janapadas, a variety of Indo-Greek coins, different types of Kushana coins & a gold coin of the Gupta ruler deserve mentions.
6. Metal Images Gallery:
In this gallery, metal sculptures (asthadhatu) relating to Brahmanical and Buddhist religions and various types of Buddhist icons, images in Dhayana (meditation) and Bhumisparsh mudra (earth-touching posture) are common. These are 35 in number and were purchased from Kurkihar (Gaya, Bihar) and Vidisha (M.P.) these all are dated to c.9th to 12th century AD. Ninety-two metal images were gifted to the museum by Mess. Shanti Vijay Company, New Delhi. These all are relating to the Brahmanical religion. It includes devotee Hanuman, Vishnu, Makaravahini Ganga, incarnation of Nrisingh,Bhu Devi, Shri Devi, padmapani Lakshmi, and etc. Amongst the images of birds and animals, mention may be made of lion, cow with calf, peacock, garukda and Nandi. These images are datable to c.19-20th century AD
7. Painting Gallery:
This gallery is also an extra attraction for the art lover as well as common people. A variety of styles, subjects and themes enriches this collection. It includes RajasthaniNathdwara style, Jaipur-Amer style, Pahari-Kangra style and local Kankhal style, which has been preserved as its eye copies, prepared by this museum. Important paintings are Raga, Ragini and Barahamasa paintings of Jaipur-Amer style. Various painting relating to Nathdwara style are comprising themes of vaishnavism. Some painting of this style also reflect light on folk culture of that time and many of them depicts court life (Darbari life). Following are the important paintings if this style in the collections:
- Raslila relating to lord Krishna.
- Painting focused on Radha and Krishna.
- Scene of grazing of cows supervised by Krishna and associates.
- Seshshai Vishnu etc.
8. Arms Gallery:
This gallery, comprising object relating to war and ranging in time from the late medieval period to the British period, is located on the first floor of the building. It includes arms and weapons of different types such as Arrows, Arrow heads, Bows Armours, different varieties of Swords, Battle-axe, Tridents, Knives, Draggers, Helmet, Turahi (a type of musical instrument essentially used to commence the battle), Steel shield, Guns, Pistols, Air rifles, different types of Cannons, Machine Guns, Stain Guns, Light Machine Guns and a Hand Gun. Important weapons are Jamdhar (a different type of dragger described in Aine-a-Akbari, Jazzels (a heavy gun usually used through camel’s neck during the c. 17th century AD), Cannons (1914 AD) used in the First World War and a G – 10 Handgun made in U.S.A. (c. 20th century AD).
9. Manuscript Gallery:
Various manuscripts of different languages, ranging in time between c.16th century AD to 20th century AD and written on various materials have been displayed in this gallery. These include manuscripts of Bangla, Sanskrit, Farsi, Gurumukhi, Tibet, Urdu, Hindi – Urdu, Sanskrit – Hindi, Devanagari (Hindi), Sharda and Sanskrit – Urdu. Various manuscript written on the Tarapatra and Bhojpatra were also displayed. Important Manuscripts are Tibetan manuscript of the 16th century AD and illustrated colour manuscript of Shrimadabhagavata Gita (More than 100 years old).
10. Miscellaneous Gallery:
In this gallery following titled objects have been displayed in order to aware the students as well as common people about the different aspects of Indian culture.
Various modern sketches of the ancient people relating to the different historical time has been beautifully displayed in this gallery. These includes: Sketch of elegantly dressed – up Mughal queens, sketch of elegantly dressed – up Mughal emperors etc.
Besides these, a good number of plaster cast replicas of many outstanding sculptures of Ancient Indian art have also been elegantly displayed.
This gallery has also collections of objects gifted by PanditJawaharlal Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.
(A) Pahri Culture Section
This section includes many objects relating to Pahari culture. Here, daily utensils of a tribal community called Jaunsar Babar, residing in Chakrata Tehsil of Dehradun District of Uttarakhand have been displayed. It includes their ornaments and other goods. Besides this, a patha (a measuring pot generally used as weighing pot) inscribed with a stamp of a ruler of sambat 1789 has also been displayed.
Here various types of plants and other botanical and Aurvedic products have been displayed. With courtesy of department of geology, university of Lucknow, this museum could be able to enrich its collections relating to specimens of rocks and minerals found in India.
A considerable number of plaster cast made specimens of heads of different tribal populations of India has also been displayed in this museum.
(B) Script Section
Here, ancient Indian scripts such as Brahmi, Kharosthi and present days Devanagari and other regional scripts like Bengali, Orriya, Kannad and Malayalam showing its origin and development have been displayed in the form of various charts. This really provides a glimpse of development of ancient scripts from c.3rd century BC to till date. These are essentially useful for the students.
11. Himalayan Darshan Gallery:
The Himalayan has been a center of attraction, not only for the hermits and Yogis but also for other curious people of the world, from time immemorial. The glory of it has been vividly described in various ancient Indian literatures. Though, in the modern age of scientific development it has become easy to have a look of the Himalayan peaks, a travel beauty of nature, but still it remains a matter of imagination for the common people.
The Himalayans Journey starts from Hardwar, the gateway of the mountain. Hardwar, associated with Lord Shiva, attracts millions of Hindu pilgrim and tourists every year. Keeping this view in mind, the decision of opening a Himalayan Darshan Gallery serves its purpose in order to give a glimpse of the Himalayan peaks and its beauty to common people. The Himalayan peaks include Jogin, Gangotri, Kotdwar, and kedardham, Chandra Parvata, BhagirathaParvata, Nanda Khat, Baljori and Kabru. The most famous of these photographs are sky piercing peaks Shivaling, Meru, Sumeru, Mana, peaks of Chaturangi range, glaciers, ice-tunnels and lakes with floating ice-blocks besides some beautiful collection of Himalayan mythological flowers. It really gives immense pleasure to the visitors watching the sky piercing Himalayan peaks and the beauty of the nature in its various original forms.