Sunday, March 1, 2009
Hyderabad Tour Part II - Salar Jung
So our next stop on the tour was the Salar Jung museum which is based on the private collection of Salar Jung III.
You aren't allowed to bring photos inside but here is a little Photosynth of the outside if you are curious (the synth isn't perfect but it's kinda cool).
The museum itself was an interesting mix of ornate, brocade and esoteric goods. The building on the inside had the feeling of an old hospital with wide hallways etc. Unlike the modern museums of Europe of North America that I have been to, things were a little bit less organized and often there were no plaques or guidance on what things were. Our guide came in very helpful in this respect in that she knew the museum well and gave us a detailed guided tour. When I read the descriptions that were present, however, I had a very funny realization. It sounded exactly like it was written by Sachin or Mudit. I suddenly realized that flowery prose and excessive use of the word 'itself' are the norm here rather than the exception and I had a newfound appreciation for my Queen's teammates. ;)
Touring the museum, one of the best parts was the incredible collection of ivory sculptures. Honestly you cannot believe the incredible detail in many of these artifacts. Entire scenes carved out of a single tusk, essentially mesh in some cases that is so perfect it looks like it was carved by tiny lasers, just mind-blowing.
There are two pieces in the museum though that stand out. The first is a marble statue called the Veiled Rebecca which is as good as any I have seen, including La Pieta, which is saying a lot. It is a woman with a veil covering and the detail is so incredible you cannot believe it.
The second is a really cool two-sided wood statue of Mephistopheles and Margaretta. From the front it is a evil old man leaning back and from the back it is a good woman leaning forward. Very cool. Unfortunately I can't find a single photo of this online but believe me its wild.
After about two hours the museum tired us out pretty badly so we took a break and ate our lunch which was a nice veggie pack of chips, a tasty Indian filled pasty and a cucumber and tomato sandwich - we each got two.
Next stop, Charminar!