The Salar Jung Museum

Salar Jung Museum

The story of how one man's collection became a national treasure

Located on the banks of the Musi River in Hyderabad, Salar Jung Museum the museum is home to the largest one-man-collection of artifacts in the world. Established in 1951, it is a wonderful repository of artistic achievements, not only from the Indian subcontinent, but also from Europe and Asia.

Mir Turab Ali Khan, born in 1829 A.D, was honored with the title of Salar Jung Bahadur at age 13. He was trained from an early age to take on the responsibilities of Prime Minister to the Nizam.

In 1867, he was conferred with the title of the "Star of India" by the British. As the Prime Minister of Hyderabad for thirty years, he laid the foundation for a modern administration and encouraged commerce and industries and thus increased the revenue of the state and wiped out any debts

Salar Jung I with Ameer-e-kabir Nawab Rasheeddudin Khan

His son, Mir Laiq Ali Khan was appointed as Salar Jung II, the Prime Minister to the Nizam Mir Mehboob Ali Khan in 1884 A.D. During his regime, he enforced those administrative reforms which were left unimplemented by his father.

His greatest achievement was the introduction of Urdu as the official language of the Nizam's dominion. Until then the language of administration was Persian.

His son, Mir Yusuf Ali Khan was born in 1889. Under the patronage of the Nizam, he received a sound education. He also inherited a priceless collection of jewelry and innumerable objects of art and became a renowned art connoisseur.

After relinquishing the post of Prime Minister in 1914, he devoted the rest of his life to enriching his hereditary treasures of art and literature.

He traveled around the world collecting unique and priceless artifacts, his passion for the arts fueled by his accessibility to kings and nobles around the world. Here we see Salar Jung III on a trip to Egypt.

Salar Jung III entertaining the Nizam of Hyderabad and other dignitaries at his residence Dewan Deodi.

After his death in 1949, a museum was opened at his residential palace, Dewan Deodi, to showcase his fabulous collection.

The Museum was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on December 16, 1951.

The chandelier room at Dewan Deodi

A new building was commissioned in 1968 and the collections were moved to this new location. This building was inaugurated by Dr. Zakir Hussain. Two more buildings were added to the existing building in the year 2000. Today the exhibits are displayed in 38 permanent galleries.

Credits: Story

Exhibition Script, Curation, and Compilation - Ms. Uma Nair, Consultant.

Exhibition Coordination - Mr. Mallam Veerender, Curator.

Special thanks to - Mr. Nagender Reddy, Director Salar Jung Museum and all other staff.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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