The Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad is believed to be the result of the initiative taken by a single man. Nawab Mir Yusuf Ali Khan, popularly known as Salar Jung III was an art lover and is regarded as the chief architect of this conglomeration. In fact the collection in this Andhra Pradesh museum is the largest one man collection in the world.
Inaugurated on 16th December 1951 by Jawaharlal Nehru, the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad was originally housed in the Dewan Devdi palace. Later in the year 1968, the museum was shifted to a new site. During the colonial rule, a large chunk of the vast treasure of Indian art was shifted to other countries. But on account of the efforts taken by Salar Jung III, a part of it could be retrieved.
There are 19 galleries in the ground floor and 16 galleries in the first floor of this museum. The galleries have an enormous collection and it is near impossible to cover the entire Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad in one visit. This museum of Andhra Pradesh contains specimens of Indian, Middle Eastern, Far Eastern and European art. There is a special section for children. Book lovers also like frequenting the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad because there is a rich reference library as well as a reading room in the museum. Rare Arabic, Urdu and Persian manuscripts are also to be found in the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad.
The exquisite sculptures, the ivory chairs presented by Louis XV of France to Tipu Sultan, the enamoring oil paintings by Italian artistes, the potteries from Germany and France, the glassware from various European countries, the Persian carpets, the Japanese lacquer ware are just a few instances of the priceless collection of this museum.
The chief attractions of the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad are the marble statue of veiled Rebecca by the Italian genius GB Benzoni and the 19th century musical clock from England where a soldier strikes a gong to indicate the hour of the day.
The Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad remains open from 10’o clock in the morning to 5’o clock in the evening on all days except Fridays and notified public holidays.