National Museum of India

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The origins of the National Museum begin with an exhibition of Indian art and artifacts at the Royal Academy in London in the winter of 1947-1948. At the end of the exhibition, its curators decided to show the same collection in India before the returning of the exhibits to museums. The Indian exhibition was shown in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1949 and was so successful that it was decided to create a permanent national museum. On August 15th, 1949, the National Museum was officially opened by the Governor-General of India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari.

The modern building of the museum was laid on May 12th, 1955 by Jawaharlal Nehru. The museum was officially opened for visitors on December 18th, 1960.

Currently, the museum is administered and funded by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The museum has at its disposal over 200,000 works of art, both Indian and foreign origin. The collection includes weapons, armor, arts and crafts, jewelry, manuscripts, paintings, etc.

A remarkable part of the collection is “Babur-name” – memories of Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad Babur (1483-1530), a descendant of Amir Temur. They are written in the Chagatai language, at that time called “Turki”, while there are separate phrases and poetic inserts in Farsi.

The collection of the hadith “Bukhari Sharif” by Imam Muhammad ibn Ismail, which in the Muslim world is considered the most authentic Islamic book after the Holy Quran, is also magnificent. Imam Tirmidhi and Nasai were also the authors of the manuscripts containing hadith.

Also it is necessary to note the works of Musa al-Khwarizmi, who became the author of the first course of algebra, having presented it as an independent science, and already in 9th century AD gave a classification of quadratic equations and gave methods for their solution. Another articulate scientist, historian and geographer of the 10th century. Al-Biruni became the author of outstanding geographical works devoted to the study of India, as well as a number of widely known works of the field of humanities and natural sciences.

It should be noted the works of Abu Ali ibn Sina, Ulugbek, Bukhari, Tughlak with his famous work “Malfoozat”, considered one of the most significant Sufi treatises.

Among the manuscripts of the museum there are works of Maulan Saad al-din al-Taftazani, Badi and Samarkandi, Badakhshi, Bisati Samarkandi, Khwaja Ismatullah Bukhari, Sheikh Mirjan Bukhari, Khayali Bukhari, Nadir Samarkandi and many others.

In the National Museum of India, there are a number of unique manuscripts of the Holy Quran, rewritten in Uzbekistan.

More information is available on the museum’s website