Mumtaz Mahal Museum, Red Fort
The museum is located in one of the palaces of the
Red Fort, Delhi. It is believed that this palace was built by Shah
Jahan for his queen Arjumand Banu Begum also famously known as Mumtaz
Mahal. The objects are displayed thematically in six galleries
belonging to the Mughal period.
The first few showcases have articles belonging to
Emperor Akbar and his successors which include miniature paintings,
manuscripts, stone inscriptions, farmans (royal orders) etc.
One of the showcases has 17th century brass astrolabes which were used
for astronomical calculations like measuring the distance between
heavenly bodies, day and night times etc. The next gallery has
porcelain, celadon and jade objects, textiles and glazed tiles. The
most distinctive of the Mughal jade objects are the hilts of swords
and daggers, usually plain but beautifully carved and finished.
Curtains, carpets, pillows, cushions and costumes are also on display
in the museum.
The Bahadur Shah Zafar gallery houses objects
belonging to the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah and his queen like
costumes, pen holder, ink pot, scissor, gun powder horns, rose water
sprinkler, toilet box etc. Two specimens of calligraphy of Bahadur
Shah II, an ivory miniature believed to be of Zeenat Mahal and a
photograph of the last days of Bahadur Shah in the prison at Rangoon
deserve special mention.
One can also find the arms used in the war of 1857
by the then Nawab of Pataudi, arms used by Bahadur Shah and field
glass used by General J. Nicholson during the siege of Delhi here.
Portraits of the last Mughal rulers and contemporary personalities
like Mirza Ghalib, maps and lithographs depicting scenes of Delhi,
Bahadur Shah's letter to Queen Victoria with the thumb impression of
his son Jawan Bakht, are some of the other interesting pieces of
display in the museum.