Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery, Vadodara, GJ - impressive Indo-Saracenic structure

Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery

The purpose of museums is to preserve and interpret things related to present and past activities of humans as material  evidence of societal development and  environment. They are founded for a variety of purposes to promote scholarly research work, recreational needs, educational resources, promotion of culture and ethos of a region, tourism, etc. Posterity will get much benefits from the items on display in the  museum. 

Baroda Museum and Picture

Above image: Heritage architecture-Inside Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery- 1894. The museum is located in a public park area called Kamati Baug on the banks of Viswamitiri covering 113 acres of lush green land..............

Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery

Founded  in 1887 by Maharajah Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda,  the museum and art gallery is housed in  two buildings. The Baroda Museum, completed in 1894, has a diverse collection covering many fields that include folk art, scientific exhibits, ethnography, Indian miniatures, sculpture, etc. Famous Akota bronzes dating back to the 5th century A.D, a collection of Mogul  miniatures (109 miniature paintings) , a big gallery of Tibetan Arts, the Egyptian mummy and a skeleton of a blue Whale, a Persian version of Mahabharata specially commissioned by Mogul Emperor Akbar, 11th century Shiva Natraj and a few more  are major attractions. Also include are  items / relics associated with a wide range of areas right from archaeology to geology 

The second building built between  1908-14 but formally opened in 1921 has a  Picture Gallery. The delay in opening the building was due to the interruption of  World War I.

Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery

On display in the picture gallary are  European paintings, in particular English portraits by George Romney and examples from the schools of Joshua Reynolds and Peter Lely. Works by Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Flemish artists are not missed out. 

 The two buildings were   designed by two English architects, Robert  Chisholm the then Consulting State Architect and Major R.N. Mant. The structure is a good example of Indo-Saracenic style of design, incorporating native architectural elements. The overall plan of the museum is in conformity with  traditional local Maratha architecture of wooden framework filled with brick walls. But the ground floor highlights pure European style, including a cornice decorated with a plaster copy of a Parthenon frieze. The south porch rising on a vast flight of steps is decorated with early and later Mogul forms. As for the gallery building  it is smaller one characteristic of masonry brick wall in typical European style. The  high roof is supported by  tall Indian columns and open pavilions. The total floor area of both the buildings is about 40,000 sq. A covered sky bridge connects both buildings