This gallery displays fine examples of elephant seats from the museum collection which is regarded as the best in the country. A priceless and unique historical piece is the silver howdah of the Mughal emperor Shahjahan. The emperor as a mark of special honour presented this howdah to Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur with an elephant along with 100 horses, on 18th December 1657. Besides this, there are other howdahs of considerable historic importance and cultural significance.
The palanquins or palkis were couches made of wood or metal with ivory, gold, silver, precious and semi precious stones. In the strict Indian Purdah system, the palanquins were veiled with attractive covers. These textiles themselves are exquisite pieces of art. Displayed in this gallery are some of the exquisite palkis used by the royal family of Marwar at different occasions as they were a popular means of travel for the ladies of the nobility, upto the second quarter of the 20th century. They were also used by male members on special occasions.
This gallery displays one of the most important and best preserved collection of fine and applied arts of the Mughal and Rajput period of Indian history, during which the Rathore rulers of Jodhpur maintained close links with the Mughal emperors.
Displayed in this gallery are finest examples of arms, textiles, decorative arts, paintings, manuscripts & headgears. Noteworthy among these are the sword of Mughal emperor Akbar, woven tent screens, embroidered tent hanging, the embroidered jama. As one walks past these rare examples of work of art, one is also walking past 500 years of Rathore history and culture.
The painting gallery has a display of miniature paintings from the Marwar School and the theme keeps changing every alternate year. Presently on display is the exhibition titled “Durbar”:
The term ‘durbar’ is used to refer to any gathering presided on by the Maharaja. These included large formal meetings and intimate gatherings attended only by close confidantes or queens. The latter were often livened by music, dancing and feasting.
Formal durbars were held to celebrate important festivals, royal birthdays or the anointment of a new king. They were attended by people of diverse rank – from thakurs who ruled fiefdoms to officials in service.
This gallery displays the best of royal tents and furnishings from the collection. Cloth architecture was among the most dramatic and colourful paraphernalia of royal life in medieval India. Vast tented encampments accompanied the Maharajas of Jodhpur on their wars, vacations and pilgrimages. You can see the precious carpets, colorful chintzes, rich embroideries, brocades and velvets which brought to the royal encampments the magic and splendor of the imperial residences.
The built structures were also dressed in curtains and hangings, floor spreads and carpets, screens and canopies, all delicately woven, embroidered or dye-painted with the colored flowers and arabesques. This gallery permits a glimpse of the splendor of the palaces dressed in their royal furnishings.
Known for valour and heroism Marwar – Jodhpur was the one of the largest princely state in India. It was a place of dramatic artistic, cultural, and political developments that spanned centuries, and flourished under the rule of brave Rajput warriors – Rathores. Each ruler left behind evocative evidence of their military might. Helmets, armour, swords, archery equipment, daggers and other arms – all of which are highly distinctive and often unique examples of exquisite metal work.
The exhibition highlights stunning examples of watered steel blades, hilts embellished with gold and silver inlay, masterfully crafted daggers and dagger blades, and rare examples of shields decorated leatherwork. The SelaihKhana, the Armory of the Rathore Dynasty not only contains metal and leather objects but it encapsulates more than 500 hundred years of the glorious history of Marwar – Jodhpur