In the many architectural excesses of Jaipur, the Albert Hall Museum is possibly the most decorative and visually stunning. The museum falls in the Ram Niwas Garden just outside the walled city of Jaipur.
One of the most visited tourist spots in Jaipur, the Albert Hall is also Rajasthan’s oldest museum. Moreover, it houses a rich collection of artifacts including paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, metal sculptures, and works in crystal.
History of Albert Hall Museum Jaipur
When the Prince of Wales, King Edward VII (Albert Edward) visited Jaipur, he was offered a grand welcome by Maharaja Ram Singh II. The whole city was painted “pink” – which is a symbol of hospitality. What’s more, there was even a Hollywood-esque “Welcome” sign placed on a hill top.
It was King Edward VII who laid the foundation stone of the Albert Hall Museum – a building named after him – on 6th February 1876.
Maharaja Ram Singh initially wanted the place to be a town hall. However, after he passed away, it was his son Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II, who took on the reigns to develop the place.
in 1880, he approved a suggestion by Dr. Thomas Holbein Hendley, the resident surgeon and an art enthusiast, to open a museum of Industrial Arts to display products of local craftsmen.
Architecture of Albert Hall Museum Jaipur
Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, the Director of Jaipur Public Works Department (PWD) was asked to design the building. He along with Mir Tujumool Hoosein came up with a design that went on to become a stunning feat of architecture.
Opened to public in 1887, the Albert Hall Museum is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. While it was modeled on the Royal Albert Hall Museum in London, it drew heavy references from the Mughal and Rajput style of architecture. The stone ornamentation and the corridors decorated with illustrated murals stand a class apart.
In fact, famous writer Rudyard Kipling during his visit was so impressed by the museum that he wrote “it is now a rebuke to all other museums in India from Calcutta downwards.”
The museum has an assortment of rare articles on its display. This includes textiles, paintings, pottery, and weapons. It also houses the famous carpet, which portrays the scene of a Persian garden carpet with running water streams. This expensive carpet was bought by Mirza Raja Jai Singh I from Shah Abbas of Persia.
The Ptolemaic Era Mummy
That’s right. Apart from the impressive collection of artwork and handicrafts, the Albert Hall Museum in Jaipur is also home to a 2300-year old Ptolemaic Era Mummy.
The mummy of Tutu, a member of a priest’s family that lived during the Ptolemaic period (322BC to 30BC) was brought to the Albert Hall in 1883. On display for public since 1887, the mummy was actually a gift from Brughsch Bey, then curator of Cairo museum.
It was however in 2011, that the mummy got its first restoration.
How To Reach Albert Hall Museum Jaipur
The Albert Hall Jaipur is the focal central point of the Ram Nivas Gardens. About 1.5 km to the south of the city walls, the easiest method to reach here is by an auto or a rickshaw.
Best Time To Visit Albert Hall Museum Jaipur
The best time to visit Jaipur is from October to March when the weather is pleasant.
Plan your visit to Albert Hall late in the evening to explore the museum and witness the scintillating light display as well.
Albert Hall Museum Jaipur Timings & Entry Fee
9 AM – 5 PM & 7 PM – 10 PM
Indian: Rs. 40
Foreigners: Rs. 300
For more info, visit their website here
Featured Image: Wikimedia