kachchh-museum

The Kutch Museum at Bhuj initially formed part of the School of Art established by Maharao Khengarji on 1st July, 1877. It is the oldest museum of Gujarat. At the time of Maharao Khengarji’s marriage, an exhibition of 5897 items were exhibited and items worth Rs. 3300 were given to the Museum which necessitated the construction of a new building.

Accordingly, on 14th November, 1884, the foundation stone for the present museum building was laid. The building consisting of 2 floors cost Rs. 32000. The museum is situated almost on the banks of the beautiful Hamirsar lake and just opposite the Nazar Baugh garden.

On the ground floor in the central room is displayed Airavat, an Indian elephant. In 1978 the Govt. of India issued a postal stamp showing Airavat. The museum has the largest collections of Kshatrap inscriptions. It also has a fine collection of Kutch silver, golden and enamelling work, textiles, wood work, coins, old utensils, arms and other archeological objects and a section on the communications of the district.

At the time of Rao Khengarji’s marriage in February 1884, an exhibition of arts and crafts of Kachchh was organized in which 5,897 items were exhibited. Of these exhibits, items then worth Rs 3300 were given to the museum at the termination of exhibition. These exhibits necessitated the construction of a new building.

To accommodate the additions to the already existing collection of artifacts, it was decided to build a new building. On November 14, 1884 the foundation stone for the present museum building was laid by the then Governor of Bombay, Sir James Fergusson. The two-storeyed building was designed by the state engineer, Mc Lelland and was constructed at a cost of Rs 32,000.

The Maharao named the Museum after Sir Fergusson. Till independence, the Museum remained a preserve of the Maharao who showed it only to his personal guests. The Museum was open to the public only on important religious occasions.After independence, the Museum was thrown open to the public and through usage came to be known as the Kachchh Museum.